Depresion - Not Something one can beat with will power alone

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Lost Arrow

Trad climber
The North Ridge of the San Fernando
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 1, 2010 - 09:35am PT
For the last month I have been trying to beat my depression with will power alone. This is not working, I cannot sleep, I grow more fatigued each day and start thinking dark thoughs.

I have family mememeber telling me to just snap out of it. I wish it was that easy.

Its like getting up a climb without the necessary strenght to do the moves.

I had to call in sick to work as I sleept 1 hour.

Whats the next step I need to take. New Doctor. Hospital.

I am starting to give up hope.

A little compassion and suggestions would be very nice.




Juan
Paulina

Trad climber
Apr 1, 2010 - 09:44am PT
Don't give up! Go see a doctor, yes, but also - go climbing if you can at all!
Exercise and fresh air = endorphins = happier, healthier mind.

donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Apr 1, 2010 - 09:47am PT
I agree with Paulina. There is light on the other side of depression and it's not that far away.
Pate

Trad climber
Apr 1, 2010 - 10:14am PT
Excersise works as a temporary fix. It allows you to focus on something strenous, tires you out and produces some chemical benefits. You can't exercise forever though.

Real problems can only be addressed through hard work over a long period of time. Prepare yourself to do the work and find yourself a Dr. who will not go easy on you and force you to do it.

donini is so right. The light is closer than you think. It's all about removing the shade.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Apr 1, 2010 - 10:19am PT
The above are good and what ever you do don't listen to the just snap out of it crap.

your on the right track with this post. Do you have any experience with drugs (sui's, lithium etc)?
I don't personnaly but i know freinds who do with success. The right expert advice is key - i think.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Apr 1, 2010 - 10:20am PT
Exercise for sure, they also make meds for that...
ME Climb

Social climber
Behind the orange Curtain
Apr 1, 2010 - 10:33am PT
My wife has been suffering with depression for a few years. The death of her father, financial stress, changing body chemistry, dealing with an accident where a pedestrian was struck and killed, and several other things have not improved her condition. It got to the point where she became suicidal. Depression is not something you can smap out of. The people who tell you that don't understand the depth of the problem. I thought I did, but now I know I didn't have the slightest idea of how bad it is, and how the depression feeds on itself. The best analogy I can see is depression is cancer of the mind. It keeps eating away at all the good feelings and cosumes them until there is nothing left but the bad thoughts.

Her recovery began by speaking with her doctor. He recommended medication and counseling/ therapy. The meds to several months to get worked out. The first medication helped with some depression, but made her feel like she was using meth. Ultimate result was this led to increased depression. She has tried several meds until they finally got the right med and dosage. She ended up in out patient therapy and out of work for several weeks. She continues to see a counselor.

It has been a long frustrating road for us that has caused untold stress on us. She is healing and continuing to make progress. I no longer worry about what I will come home to find. She still has her bad days but not like before.

My recommendation is see a doctor, get therapy, find the right meds (if that is what is needed), stay active, make sure you don't withdraw, ask for help, and build your support system. If paying for doctors and therapy is an issue make sure you check with your local social services agency and see what resources are available.

You are not alone and help is out there. If you need anything feel free to contact me.

Eric
slevin

Trad climber
New York, NY
Apr 1, 2010 - 10:41am PT
Do whatever it takes to beat it! Go see a doctor and get medication if you think it's will help. Get laid, even if you have to pay for it. Excersize. Communicate. You can get through it and you will be as good as new once it's over!

PS. I am not a depressive kind, but I always felt that depression gotta be one of the most difficult deseases to beat. For starters, most people do even not think it's a real problem and are dismissive. In addition, even the doctors don't really know much about treating it.
Anxious Melancholy

Mountain climber
Between the Depths of Despair & Heights of Folly
Apr 1, 2010 - 10:42am PT
Juan, depression sucks, but remember that you are not alone. Being depressed and feeling alone has got to be one of the worse places to be. Both here on ST and in the real world, there are people who care, and who you can connect with. In my experience, both professional and companion understanding, compassion, and communication will help you find a path forward. My darkest day was when I fully gave in to the idea that I suffered from depression. It was if I was swallowed up in a big black hole, one with no bottom, and I found myself tumbling down into a bottomless darkness. But you know what? It also turned out to be the one of that allowed me to ultimately experience a more vibrant life. In desperation and for the first time I opened up to those that were reaching out to me, realizing that others cared, and ultimately that I can positively impact the lives of others around me. These things became more luminously and clearly important, and gave my life a hitherto unrealized anchor and relevance. We care about you, others care about you, and you have an as yet unrealized potential to experience the miraculous world around you, and positively influence those you come in contact with.
Jingy

Social climber
Nowhere
Apr 1, 2010 - 10:54am PT
Lost Arrow - Just know that you are not alone and that as long as you are alive you can change... Things will change.


Take a moment to have some wonder of life itself.

There are no secrets to overcoming your Depression. There is the will to live and if there is a spark you can get the flame going again. Step back. Take a look at the big picture.



Don't give up. The fog will lift
mark miller

Social climber
Reno
Apr 1, 2010 - 11:15am PT
Depression....You think your tough and can snap out off it. No way, it's like a swirling drain that keeps sucking you down further.

Get Quality medical help, Immediately.

I thought I could beat it with Spring here, but I was getting to dark. I went back on Cymbalta Monday and within 12 hours I felt like a dark veil was removed and I could deal with everything....Not much work, Bills, the world was crushing in on me and I didn't even have the energy to play guitar. I didn't realize how I bad I was, Tuesday morning my wife says " Welcome Back", scary sh#t.

Get good help stat.
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
Green Cove slabbage BITD!
Apr 1, 2010 - 12:02pm PT
People care about you. They do. Try not to lose sight of this fact.


Eric's beta is good, in that all aspects of treatment are helpful ,especially in combination with one another. 20-30 min/day of repetitive motion exercise, talk therapy, drugs for a while while things are really bad, support from your community, sunshine- the more you do these things, the better off yer gonna be.

Don't check out now. OK?
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Apr 1, 2010 - 12:11pm PT
Having to take drugs to level out your brain chemistry is not a moral failing, so don't feel like willpower alone should suffice. Willpower works when what you're facing is a choice, but I'm sure your condition is not of your own choosing. Go see your doctor, the sooner the better.

best wishes for you

Off
bluNgoldhornet6

Big Wall climber
Tampa, Fl
Apr 1, 2010 - 12:41pm PT
Welcome Juan!!! it seems like the ST forum is overfilling with people with that suffer from depression. This may be why we all do the climbing thing after all... Anyway bro talk to a Doc and a Therapist it is the only way you will get relief.
Yeah snapping out of it is not possible, but i do understand how the other person feels and it can get frustrating. Stay positive, understand you have a serious medical condition, take the meds and ask questions. you may even find it amazing how many posts in the forum there are about us suffering from depression.
Before you go to the Doc to research on some meds like Pristique, Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta. These medications have websites that you can go to and take a sort of depression test about symptons the results may very but it is also very helpful to bring up and discuss with your doc.

Depression sux! Please take seriously.
Cheers!

Matt

You will be back on top one day. Good luck!
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 1, 2010 - 12:54pm PT
"There is nothing else that will help, it is just your brain chemistry, not lack of will power, weekness of personality, a depressing situation, or any mental problem."

This has never been the case and still isn't.

There are many effective means of dealing with all of these issues. Meds are one, but you never get something for nothing with these.

JL
Thomas

Trad climber
The Tilted World
Apr 1, 2010 - 01:06pm PT
Does anyone get through depression through sheer will power?

I have always been fascinated with how different individuals deal with difficult situations.

I would appreciate hearing from folks that have worked through depression in a healthy manner, came out on the other side feeling whole, and did NOT take medication. Some folks need it, others may not.

Thanks for putting this out there. It helps me to remember a quote from Plato:

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

Much respect, everyone.
Prezwoodz

climber
Anchorage
Apr 1, 2010 - 01:11pm PT
Hey Juan its true your not alone buddy but those of us on the internet are no substitute for life either. Ive suffered long bouts of depression...one seemed to last about 2 years but I didn't need any drugs because I changed my life. Thats not to say it'll work for everyone but it worked for me. Heres what I did the first time.

1. Left the internet. This seems stupid to most people I tell, I don't how much time you spend on the computer so this may not be for you but I was playing games and chatting all day long. Heck I really just moved my life to the computer and when I had problems it was on the computer I went to try and get them fixed. Only it doesn't work like that, we need real people in our life to talk to.

2. Went exploring. This included in the mountains, climbing, kung fu, and many things I still do. Some didn't work. I took many trips into the mountains alone before I realized I wanted to keep coming home. I started drawing and writing. Somehow the writing kept me grounded on the worst nights, I wrote more then ever on them.

3. Changed my relationship. I realized I wasn't happy in it and it took a long time to figure that out. It was hard, but necessary.

The second time was more difficult in many was. I was climbing, traveling and should have been enjoying life but just wasn't, plus I wanted to punch anyone who told me to "knock it off" or "it happens to everyone sometimes, its normal" I didn't give a damn about who else it happened to. It didn't help me any. The key was that I had to take those things that were causing it out of my life, many I didn't even really know I had until I started to change them. For you, I think its the pills, it seems you want to kick them and that is good if you think you are ready. But you have to remember why you are doing it as well and the worst thing you can do is be depressed at being depressed. You haven't done anything wrong, you don't deserve to be depressed but to some of us we don't always seem to have the choice. Its our will that drives us through. When were gone people may mourn, they will miss us and that will fill an emptyness but not for ourselves. We will be gone and missed the only chance we had to be happy.
Nutter

climber
Europe
Apr 1, 2010 - 01:17pm PT
I've been there myself, and man, it sucks! I really feel for you.

The worst for me was the "snap out of it" crowd, I hated them and they made me feel like sh!t. Worst thing is, before my own depression, I used to be one of them myself...

For me, (a little) medication combined with counseling worked. I also started doing things I like doing more, climbing, hiking, walking in the woods. I got up from that couch, even though it was hard. I got pills that helped me fall asleep, and that was golden. Sleep, for me, was key. I still get bad days, but not like before. The most important aspect I found, regarding counseling, was that the counselor was an outsider, someone I didn't know, who didn't know me, and in a sense didn't give a sh#t about me, but took me seriously.

Take care, and remember: There is light on the other side of depression and it's not that far away
10k

Trad climber
Portland, OR
Apr 1, 2010 - 01:22pm PT
I have had depression for a long time (decades?) but didn't get treatment until 3 years ago. After that I had the energy and desire to change my life and do thing I wanted. I started climbing (yay), moved to a new location, and now I am going back to school. It took me a long time to go to the doctor and say that I have depression and that I wanted help, partly because of the social stigma with depression. Stigma like a person is weak if he cannot fix this on his own, and all the people who just don't understand what it means for unhappiness to be the norm.

The good news is you can get drugs prescribed directly by your primary doctor - no referral is needed in most cases. Depression is common enough that they will give you drugs to keep you from going over the edge while you also get counseling. I never liked counseling because I couldn't seem to cry to a total stranger, and that there wasn't a single thing or bunch of things that bothered me - I was just unhappy - but after a few tweaks in drugs and dosage, I can say I am much happier and feel like I can go and do things. It does take about 2 weeks for the drug to start working and if it doesn't you will usually talk to your doctor again and try another one or another dosage.

Get help. It's the only way.

Prezwoodz

climber
Anchorage
Apr 1, 2010 - 01:23pm PT
Dr. F, I think it would be best if you just stopped posting in this thread since your really not helping. In fact the pretentious nature of your post is frustration and I hope that you don't actually try to help people in this manner outside of the internet.

I felt dead, didn't really care what happened. I wanted to ask my friends for help but could only do so, we are seen as weak with such a situation. I didn't really hate anything but myself, but I didn't really care either. It was a null feeling and it felt the most dangerous to my mind since I couldn't figure out what we worth hanging around for when I no longer had anything to feel? This went on for years, personally I couldn't give a crap if you labeled me or Juan as depressed. What do you know? Juan's trying to make it in life on his own will telling his brain to make what it needs to keep going and it had damn well better make it good! I think its a great idea but I think if your feeling depressed then something is missing, look real hard Juan and try to find what that is!

JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 1, 2010 - 02:42pm PT
For once, I strongly agree with Dr. F's advice: get professional help. While Largo is right (as usual) -- not all depression is the same, and not all responds to the same treatment -- depression is not something you can easily diagnose or treat yourself.

I have dealt with depression since 1994. Mine was entirely endogenous -- nothing on the outside caused it. In fact, the first symptoms manifested themselves when everything was going well. I mistakenly thought that I must be an adreneline junkie having withdrawals from risk. Not so. Mine was what Dr. F describes -- a chemical imbalance.

I've been very fortunate in that medication worked perfectly for me. Its only side effects have been vivid (and exceedingly entertaining) dreams -- and phenomenal recovery. While I was depressed, and before I got professional help, I did (or mostly failed to do) enough to cause any objective person sufficient grief to cause exogenous depression, but family, friends and professionals all helped that recovery.

As others have said, you are not alone. A great many climbers suffer from depression and don't hide it. I'm available to talk, email, or do anything else I can to help anyone who is suffering from depression, or the people who care about them.

John
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Apr 1, 2010 - 03:07pm PT
Depression is such a life sucking activity - attack it on all fronts. Yes, some beat it without drugs and some don't. The mind and body are very connected. They can spiral up or down together.

Many suggestions are very good to help with depression and are constructive anyway. Exercise and caring for another living being affects your body chemistry, and improves your life. I was amazed to see how much improvement happened to my daughter's depression as she took care of a stray animal. Taking care of my little kids helped me. You need a purpose to getting out of bed and going through the motions of life.

Surround yourself with positive people. That is the one suggestion I have that is new compared to the very good suggestions others had.

Recognizing that you are depressed, saying so out loud, and allowing people to help you are very positive steps. That one was very powerful for me, too. Suffering in silence gyps people of the opportunity to help you. SOmeday, you will be able to pay it forward.
Bronwyn

Trad climber
Not of This World
Apr 1, 2010 - 03:39pm PT
Juan, you are NOT alone. Depression is real, and it hurts. Bad.
Get to a health care provider ASAP. There is nothing wrong with using some meds to get through this. Sometimes you have to try more than one. I was good on the first one for several months,and then one day I was even worse off than before. I called my MD, she changed my scrip, and the second med (Wellbutrin) worked wonderfully. Depression meds are not a "happy pill" as some seem to think. The right one will make you feel like YOURSELF again. Get some counseling, and if finances are an issue, there are various county programs available. Some churches and synagogues also offer free secular counseling with qualified professional volunteers. Get in touch with the spiritual aspects of life. I agree with others here that having a pet to care for goes a long way to helping yourself. Talk to your friends...seek out others who understand.

I have been off of all meds for several years, but depression IS an imbalance and you have to monitor yourself. Some simple dietary changes can also affect brain chemistry, such as giving up sugar, and adding fish oil supplements to your diet. Staying away from artificial ingredients and other food additives seems to help me as well.

Please seek help. Asking for help is a sign of strength. You CANNOT "tough this out" on your own.

Please keep us posted...people's concern here is real.
Mtnmun

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Apr 1, 2010 - 03:53pm PT
When one of my family members came down with depression and anxiety I thought they could just "buck up" and get over it. Soon I realized just how serious of an issue it can be. Reaching out for help is the first step. May you find the happy light soon.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
Will know soon
Apr 1, 2010 - 03:54pm PT
Juan, like Jingy said ..... you are not alone and as long as you are alive things will change.

I can remember my husband Dan and I driving down the on ramp onto the freeway with our 4 kiddos. We were all packed and ready to rock for a great camping/climbing trip. Halfway down the on ramp it hit, out of nowhere.....what I call the dark hole of depression. I started falling down the dark hole. There were no holds to grab onto, no way to stop, it went from light to gray to black. I was helpless against it.

After years of dealing with this when I was in my 16 to @ 40's I noted that it eased. EVERY human being is different which is why it is so grate that there are so many different responses on your thread. You have alot of ideas and info you can now pull from.

For lynnie, psychiatrists and meds did not help or work. It was getting to meet and know my best friend jesus and getting to be better and better friends with him over the years until now he is the bestest friend that has been life changing for me. I never could have survived my husbands death two years ago as well as I did without my best friend.

I am thinking of you and praying for you and care. If you ever want to email please do so. I will listen. Peace .....lynnie
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:19pm PT
juan ive not got a coin in my pocket nor a hope in my heart.
but i can give you (1) of my (2) dreams.

hang in there buddy.
scooter

climber
fist clamp
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:23pm PT
me and dasiy, I was so weak it was hard for me to pick her up!
me and dasiy, I was so weak it was hard for me to pick her up!
Credit: scooter
I am in total agreement with Coz. I was hurt bad a few years back and had a tough time for a bit. I did get a dog from the pound and it was the best thing for me. The MD that was taking care of me had prescribed me an anti-depressent and it did not work for me it made me cry all the time for what ever reason, and I felt out of control. So I stopped it. Started rehabing like crazy. Haveing to walk the dog made me rehab myself and made me accountable to the dog (which is funny). I also stopped slugging beers for a while, that helped too. Also the days getting longer that spring helped. I made sure to hang out in the sun. Take the steps Coz recomended. From my expirence it worked! And I still have DaisyDog my best friend. Try it take control by checking things off the Coz list. You got! The anchors are in sight! And the feeling of beating this will make you a stronger and more whole person. Go get some vibrantly colored oil pastels and acrilics sit in the sun and make a little art. Take care Brudda'. You are going to win!

Pat
WBraun

climber
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:24pm PT
Dr F is hoping there's no Jesus Christ.

When he finds out that Jesus Christ is real and actually exists he will become depressed.

He will then have to suffer so much embarrassment ......
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:27pm PT
werner,
dare i say that you're speculating?
you always get down on us when we do that.
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:29pm PT
Last year, I lost my job of 3 years, found out my back was broken, had to move in with friends etc....

I never sought help, rather tried the will power approach. The depression lasted 6 months, almost cost me my relationship with the lady.

I hated everyone and everything, and never thought I was gonna make it out.

Dad told me "You will find the light my son, just don't forget what you love in the journey"

I snapped out of it. But now I can see how depression can take hold and govern your life.

I have never taken medication, to which I am happy, yet I went about treatment the wrong way.



Keep your head up and do what you think is necessary for improvement. Climbing did it for me.

I can say that you have taken the first step by talking about it, keep up the positive thoughts, and never give up.

Mucci
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:30pm PT
There "might" have been a Jesus Christ but there never was a Jesus Christ Almighty.
WBraun

climber
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:35pm PT
I guarantee Jesus Christ exists beyond all forms of mental speculations.

Jesus Christ is Saktavesa, ever liberated, nitya siddha, never falls down to the contamination of the 3 modes of material nature.

Only fools and rascals says he does not exist.

Jesus Christ exists eternally and he is proven so ......

Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:39pm PT
ok,
im happily a fool and a rascal at times.
and other times im miserably a fool and a rascal.

i can roll as such.

how does one convert opinion into fact?
just curious.
sounds like something jesus might do.
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:40pm PT
Sleep has been mentioned several times. Melatonin is very inexpensive, same stuff your body makes, and may help you get some sleep. That helped my daughter, too. She wouldn't take any of the other meds. But a little sleep, a pet to take care of, better diet, some simplification of her schedule, a little talk therapy, and she was doing so much better. A year ago, I wondered if she would live to graduate high school. Now we are planning for college this fall.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:46pm PT
There may be some good advice above but I didn't have time to read. Just want to offer you some Love and Support and a couple tidbits.

1. Don't beat yourself up for being depressed. Real depression can be tough to beat so first accepting that it's a part of your life that you can live with if necessary is a huge step. Whenever it improves, that's bonus.

2. See above

3. Honor yourself. have compassion for yourself. Depression can be yourself eating yourself. We're all wacked bro. It's April fools day, the birthday of us all.

4. Pray for others. Try to make somebody else happy in some small way. Give something. It's somehow easier to be blessed by blessing than by seeking for yourself.

We're with you man

Karl
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 1, 2010 - 05:15pm PT
Juan,

Don't worry about Dr. F's anti-Jesus trolls. Just realize that you have a medical condition no different morally from any other medical condition.

Probably because so many of us feel (in contrast to think) that being helpless comes from our own decisions, we blame ourselves for our condition. That's like blaming yourself for getting, say, Lupus. There is no blame, only help.

Perhaps depression is more insidious because we often feel like there's nothing really wrong with us, and that we'll just return to our normal selves. That usually doesn't happen without a very bumpy ride, if at all.

I have no threory for why so many climbers seem to suffer from depression, but perhaps climbing affects our brain chemistry. I know in my own case, there's speculation that it's genetic; I have two first cousins who suffer from virtually the same symptoms if untreated. One is in Paris, and one in Mexico City; neither climbs. Since I've only lived in California, I doubt that ours has much of an environmental link.

Again, many of us fight the fight, and our stories differ, but I'll bet almost all of us have this in common -- we care about you, and would be delighted to do anything we can to help.

John
Mason

Trad climber
Yay Area
Apr 1, 2010 - 07:21pm PT
What about the Androgel?
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 1, 2010 - 07:40pm PT
There are millions of people with depression that ONLY drugs can help
------


Not so. In fact I don't know of anyone who will ONLY be helped by drugs, no matter how grave the depression. This is very simplistic thinking about a normally very complex condition involving past, present and future, physical, emotional, mental, social, economical, behavioral, psychological and spiritual factors.

There is every reason to want to stick with a strictly reductionalistic belief that our brain chemestry is the ONLY factor that CAUSES moods. In believeing this, you can also believe that if you only can control the biochemestry, you can likewise control the mood. This is an often disasterous and self-limiting tact that assumes a few rather glaring falacies.

If you believe that only drugs can help, this precludes you from seeking changes in lifstyle, habitual ways of thinking and feeling, ingrained response patterns, old behaviors, and so forth.

Wish I had more time but I can say that while the meds can be a life saver, usually in the short run - and often not, as well - other methods - usually requiring sweeping changes across the board - will almost always prove most effective in the end. It's very American to believe that we can "fix" a problem with a pill, and that any effort beyond that is not only unnecessary, it's catagorically ineffective.

A common situation worth mentioning can be trotted out by anyone who has regularly attened al-anon meetings. Many, many - if not the majority of people - arrive at al-anon in full crisis mode, completely cooked and feeling totally hopeless. Many can't stop crying at all. But if they stick with program and do the work, look at them a year later.

A rule of thumb worth remembering is: You will only start feeling different when you change your behavior. Thinking or analyzing things will have little to no effect on mood whatsoever. Contrary action is key here. And as Coz pointed out, a lot of it has to do with being "bound by self," or being crazy self-absorbed. That cycle also has to be broken by various means, one of which is being of service to others.

But this is VERY heavy lifting for sure.

JL
ME Climb

Social climber
Behind the orange Curtain
Apr 1, 2010 - 09:08pm PT
From my experience Largo is right on about saying meds alone won't do the job. They need therapy and counseling to work. My wife still has her "homework" and is constantly challenged by her therapist to work on issues. She must force herself out of the house when she wants to curl up into a ball. She must go shopping by herself.

What has worked for my wife is the combination of the meds and therapy. Sometimes therapy alone will work, while other times meds and therapy are the answer. Meds alone are not the answer.

The mind is so incredibly complex and we know so little about it.

Depression is such a horrible condition, but help is out there. Ask for the help and it will come.

Juan, I sent you my number call whenever you need.

Eric

*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, but have many years experince with depression and know how to find resources.
Tobia

Social climber
GA
Apr 1, 2010 - 09:12pm PT
I came home from school today; a long day with 6th graders, after school faculty meeting, PTO after that.

I arrived at school in the morning in my usual anxiety heavy persona; teeth huring from the gritting. Worrying how I am going to get through the day; how I am going to hold up with my peers and not melt down from the previous day of the same as day as the day before.

I feel that collapse that Lynne eloquently described earlier as I drive home. I think about trying not to go down the chute into the duldrums of my depression.

To dark tonight to get to play outside so I come in to try to escape on the taco. I see a fellow sufferer of the same crippling disease, screaming out over the thread for some reassurance, advice or whatever response he can get to help alleviate the pain.

The people that have posted a response that can identify personally with depression offer some kind words and what helped them. That is compassion and love of your neighbor at it's best.

Clearly there are no two cases of depression that are alike; so there is no magic cure. No one formula that works. I agree with many here, you can't do it alone. I don't know about the talk therapy, I did it for years and it didn't help or maybe I was talking to the wrong people. No meds helped, as I have stated before.

I know I am going to have to start the med search again. I can't do it alone, I can't do it with prayer alone. I can't do it with the taco alone.

Some of the posts are not helping anyone. Dr. F; go find another thread. You are dangerous and twisted. Besides that you haven't a clue. I don't know what life experiences you have but whatever they are they haven't given you one iota of insight into this problem or people's faith, or the almighty.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Apr 1, 2010 - 09:49pm PT
Might not help everyone but here's a few tips I noticed keep things brighter for some people.

Moderate levels of depression can be bearable by a lot of folks who suffer regularly but if you fall in to the dark hole, you may need professional help and maybe drugs to get back on your feet. Once you can't crawl out, reach out.

Exercise is almost always is great medicine. Try to develop the exercise habit so when you fall down a bit, it's not as hard to motivate

Caffeine exacerbates anxiety. If you do coffee, feel your energy and see if caffeine makes the feeling worse.

Sometimes you might want to crawl in a hole, and might even feel estranged in a public sterile environment, but human contact and communication can often support and nourish you, even as you might tend to shun it. Develop friends, help them when they need it and call on them to hang out when you need support.

I'm grateful for those who have been there for me when my car breaks down, when I can't handle a task by myself, and when things get out of hand. Let's look for opportunities to be there for each other

Peace

Karl
Ricky D

Trad climber
Sierra Westside
Apr 1, 2010 - 10:20pm PT
Been there done that have the damn t-shirt and matching belt to boot.

Jeff, here is my paltry tale of woe - take of it what you wish.

Depression sucks major big time balls. But you know that already. Snapping out of it can be done - but that part comes later.

First things first. Check with your HR people on what your health insurance covers in the way of mental disorders. Assuming that they do cover this, ask if your company/employer has any type of "wellness" program or "directed help" program. Assume they do for sake of discussion.

Next step - call your doctor and make an appointment ASAP. Same for your employee help program - call and set a date and time!

Third - actually GO to the damn appointments- no excuses, yes I know it sucks and you feel bad - but sack it up cowboy. This is for YOUR own damn good.

Fourth - swallow what's left of your ego (because who cares anyway right) and own up to the doc or the counselor that your life sucks, you sleep all day or not at all, you don't bathe anymore and your feet hurt. But mostly, tell the truth about how crappy your mind feels about itself.

Cinco - take the meds (I was partial to Paxil) and go to the therapy sessions. You will feel like sh#t, you will cry too much for a grown man, you will whine, bitch, moan and carry on like a baby....but....it will be okay!

Seis - keep going - it can take months.

Seite - look forward to the day when it finally hits you with crystal clarity that "JEEBUS HUMPING JEHOVAH ON A STICK - I HAVE DEPRESSION!"

Ocho - with the REAL realization that YOU are not f*#ked, it's just that YOU have a f*#ked disease - it will cease to have control over you. This is the "Snap out it" part of the recovery - you just get sick and tired of being sick and tired - so you quit being sick and tired. Make sense?

Nine - happy days and sunshine buttercups!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It Can Work!!!

Rick







Brian

climber
California
Apr 1, 2010 - 10:55pm PT
Depression runs deep in my extended family and I have to say that Largo's last post seems right on to me. Drugs can help in certain situations (perhaps in many of them), but if you rely only and simply on drugs, you are not really going to get better. The problem, and its solution, is much more complex than that. Just telling someone to 'take a pill' is not going to be helpful in the long term, or not as helpful as a more comprehensive approach, even if it can help in the short term.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Apr 1, 2010 - 11:10pm PT
Thanks Largo. I agree.
mongrel

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Apr 1, 2010 - 11:33pm PT
Lost Arrow, take heart from the many expressions of support from a lot of folks who you have not met and may never meet: that alone is cause for optimism.

But some specifics along with the generalities of most of the posts, from someone who has indeed walked some long miles in the same shoes. The most useful thing you can do short term is to do just that: take some long walks, or do some cycling. Moderate physical exercise is the single best thing for getting unstuck, however it is not magic without other follow up. It is a slow process by no matter what means, and be encouraged when there is any glimmer of light even if it is a dim and gray light at first. Talk therapy is highly recommended for a period of time. In a brief trial, I did not find that the standard prescription meds helped, and found the side effects mildly unpleasant which did not help. But meds are very good for some patients.

Best of luck and keep on it.
Brian

climber
California
Apr 1, 2010 - 11:36pm PT
Dr. F

Step 1: Re-read Largo's post.
Step 2: Blush, realizing your gross oversimplification and misrepresentation of what he said.
Step 3: Re-post a mea culpa and offer to have a reasoned discussion about the claim that "only" drugs can help.
Step 4: Go forth and reconsider your reductionistic view of human of human psychology.

Brian

PS-Juan, best of luck with your struggle which, as my other post indicates, I am fairly familiar. You should look to all possible sources of help (yes, including drugs). As someone else posted, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if (to mix metaphors) it takes the heavy lifting John mentioned to get there.
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
Apr 1, 2010 - 11:53pm PT
f you have done almost everything already, isn't it time to try something that has an 80% chance of success,
rather than something with a zero % chance of working, since it hasn't worked yet

Dr F.. Largo is not saying to not use drugs. He is saying that drugs are not the only recourse, and because they have a price, ie they can really mess you up as Juan has found out from the weight gain from his last med, that it then behooves you to look further into many modalities and not depend solely on drugs.

At least, that is what I think he is saying.

Brian

climber
California
Apr 1, 2010 - 11:56pm PT
Dr. F

You skipped my first step

Step 1: Re-read Largo's post.

Largo wrote

In fact I don't know of anyone who will ONLY be helped by drugs, no matter how grave the depression.

and

the meds can be a life saver, usually in the short run

and

If you believe that only drugs can help, this precludes you from seeking changes in lifstyle, habitual ways of thinking and feeling, ingrained response patterns, old behaviors, and so forth.

I think it's clear--correct me if am I wrong John--that he has said (1) drugs can be helpful, but (2) if you rely only and simply on drugs you are not getting at the whole problem.

Your reductionistc view of human psychology--correct me if I am wrong Dr. F--seems to suggest that the whole problem is chemical, and this is where you are, I believe, dead wrong.

Brian
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
Apr 2, 2010 - 12:01am PT
I have a question for you Dr F.

What if the meds don't work for you? I have dealt with depression my entire life. I lost count of the number of different meds and combinations I have taken over the years. Last I remember it was over 35 different meds. Some work for a very short time. Some work longer. Some don't work at all. Some make me extremely aggressive. Some make me suicidal. Most make me very sick. If there is a side affect, I probably have it.

So what would you do? Since you seem to believe that drugs are the answer.
Lost Arrow

Trad climber
The North Ridge of the San Fernando
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 2, 2010 - 12:08am PT
Thanks for all the wonderful responses. I went to my Psychiatrist and picked up a new antidepresent to try. God I pray this brings me piece and sleep.

I will keep you posted.

JuAN

WBraun

climber
Apr 2, 2010 - 12:19am PT
oH ..

This thread is making me depressed. Juan will send me sample of the nice new drug from psychiatrist.

I will be happy then. I will be able to free solo the Nose in a day after taking the nice new miracle drug.
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
Apr 2, 2010 - 01:09am PT
There is a pill that can make me a climbing god??? Woot for pills.


Juan,

I'm going to give you the shortest version that I can of what I believe can help you. Though looking down at it, I see that it is pretty long, but I am putting a whole lot of info that fits in numbers of books, so it really is the short version. haha..

First. Everything is about Truth. Lack of Truth leads to suffering. Unwillingness to follow Truth leads to suffering.

This is what I believe the Truth is.

We are spiritual beings made by and out of God's energy. ( It is more complicated then this, but I am giving you the short version )

There is a spiritual world made up of very high energy, and there are progressively lower worlds made up of progressively denser energies. We are in the material world which is currently the lowest form of energy.

All energy flows from the spiritual world to create the material world. It is stepped down gradually and there are processes that do that.

As beings made of energy, we have four bodies. The body closest to the spiritual world is our belief body, below that is our mental body. Below that is our emotional body, and below that is the densest body, the material body. Surrounding that is our Auric field, which is an energy field meant to protect us on our journeys.

So our beliefs create our thoughts. Our thoughts create our emotions, our emotions create our experience of life.

Depression is manifest from a series of untruths lodged in our belief bodies. So the only way to completely cure it is to look for all untruths. This is a process and will not occur overnight.

In the meantime you have brought depression all the way down into your material body, so you also have to deal with it on the material level. That includes seeing if meds will help, looking at your diet, looking at your lifestyle, seeing if you get adequate exercise and rest. Looking at how you respond to stress and what are the things you could do to relieve stress. And actually many more things that can help you such as ECT and light therapy in the form of sseasonal affective disorder lights which many people find helps them through the winter. These are just some of the basics.

Currently you are on meds. That is a decent place to start, but I hope that you don't stop there as sometimes meds don't work well, plus they can be hard on the body and so it behooves you to do everything you can to strengthen your general health and thus perhaps allow you to take lower doses of meds, or even get off them.

I am completely off meds. It required a lot of work and I haven't achieved a full recovery from depression, but have made a lot of progress.

So that generally covers the material world.

You also need to do something for your other bodies. You need to seek truth. Which you are doing in part here. And you need to become aware that your auric field is an energy field that can be broken down by the daily stresses of life, by malicious forces, and by our own bad habits. So you need to start working on building your energy field. One thing you can do is pray and seek help from the spirits to guide you to truth and to protect you from malicious forces.

Part of learning the truth is to learn about the negative habits you have that leave you open to malicious forces.

Then there is prayer and meditation that can help us clean up our emotion body, our mental body, and our belief body. The thing that I find works best is to concentrate on the Truth and do a mediation on it. It is amazing how messed up we can get when we concentrate on negative things. The more we think about bad things, the more stress we create, and thus the more stressed out we get. So taking a break from your daily stress is a really good thing for your well being. You might have heard of the power of positive thinking. Well there is a step beyond that and it is prayer and meditation that connects you to the spirit world and hopefully, eventually, the truth.

A workbook that I highly recommend to get you started on this process is "the course in Miracles" workbook. There is a manuscript and work book and they are two different things. The manuscript is full of teachings and personally I don't think that they are of the highest sort as the writer allowed her own lower consciousness to get in the way, and thus they are tainted by it. But the workbook is magical. It is easy to do and at the start involves about 15 minutes a day of prayer and meditation involving mantras. It helped me a lot.

You have stress in your life. It is exacerbated by focusing on it. So take a daily vacation from it. It is wonderful to take that vacation nightly just before bedtime. It will help you sleep.

If you really think it helps you to keep thinking about your problems, then realize that you need rest and you do this best when you put down your problems. So if you find it really difficult to put down your problems, then try promising yourself that you will pick up those problems the next morning, once you are rested. This is one way I have found to help me sleep and find rest. I don't always get to sleep, but I learned from experience that you can still feel rested if you don't spend the night ruminating on your problems. Surrender them nightly to God, and then relax.

I'm certain that Dr F will tell you that there is no god, so my theories are whack, but it is up to you to decide.

One last thing. I have shown you how to work on the physical and the spiritual and in part on the mental and emotional, but it can also be helpful to get counseling to help you learn how you mentally exacerbate your stress through poor thinking habits. So I also suggest finding a counselor.

I hope this helps you find your way. Depression is a hard row to hoe but there is a way out of it. I hope that you keep looking.

John
AllezAllez510

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Apr 2, 2010 - 01:19am PT
"True happiness is the expectation of being being happy."

-Virginia Woolf

Pretty sure I screwed that one up, but whatever...

As someone who has been battling depression more or less since jr. high, I can say that some days are worse than others but what has helped me A LOT recently has been meditation. I was very recently turned on to Vipassana meditation and I feel SO much better and happier now. If I had told myself five years ago that I would find some spirituality I would have slapped myself...

What the above helps me with is living in the present moment. I used to fear the future and long for the past, but those feelings are slowly, and I mean slowly fading away....It is a long and DIFFICULT journey and I'm not there yet.

Not saying becoming "spiritual" (I really hate that word...) will help you, but it helped me...

Buena suerte...
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 2, 2010 - 01:29am PT
I wouldn’t say that I “know everything” about depression. Not remotely. But I have been exposed to the standard medical model my whole life, seeming that half my family are MDs, including my father and now my daughter. Plus my sister is a psychologist who deals with psychiatric and psychological challenges daily, adn I frequently talk to her about this. What’s more, a decade ago I went back to grad school (nights and weekends), strictly for my own interest, and did the whole clinical psych thing. Lastly, I’ve been involved in various incarnation of Al-Anon and “recovery” work for years, and in those groups there’s a large population who have suffered incest, physical abuse, wildly dysfunctional relationships and home environments, deadly addictions, and so forth, these being some of the common, contributing factors to depression.

That much said, I don’t look at Dr. F’s statements as anything but examples of how he processes information, as well as a cognitive style that forces him into all-or-nothing conclusions.

For example, when Dr. F. approaches matters of religion, spirituality, “God,” and so forth, the all or nothing thinking is most obvious. Since there is no God (“nothing”), according to the doctor, EVERYONE, from the beginning of time, from sage to seer to Indian chief, and ALL proponents of a power higher greater than our own brain, have been deluded and wholly mistaken. They are “all” wrong and the doctor is “all” or and entirely right in this regard. Case closed because he said so.

Now we come to the business of depression, bio-chemestry and meds, where once more, Dr. F declares that ONLY brain chemistry is a factor, and that “ALL” other modalities are “ALL” wrong and totally useless and misguided. That means that ALL psychologists, social and body workers, therapists, 12 Step programs, recovery houses, rehab centers, personal coachs, and so forth – NONE of their efforts work, or have ever worked, or ever will work, AT ALL. They too are entirely full of sh#t – ALL of them.

The main problem with an all or nothing cognitive style is that it is so transparently distorted that the vast overstatements and oversimplifications undermine the necessity of taking brain chemistry seriously. What’s more, insisting that said chemistry “produces” our experience, like a stamp produces a coin, is to fundamentally misunderstand causality as it occurs in human life. But that’s another discussion.

Trying to lick depression with chemistry alone is like trying to beat alcoholism through will power. You chances are less than average.

JL
WBraun

climber
Apr 2, 2010 - 01:38am PT
WOW !!!

What a comeback.

One of the best I've seen in a while.
locker

Social climber
Desert
Apr 2, 2010 - 01:58am PT

IS the BEST I've seen in a while...

Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
Will know soon
Apr 2, 2010 - 02:05am PT
Tobia, you have been such a help to me on the "music" thread, truly awesome really ! So tho it's late and I need to get up at 4:00 am I want to run this by you.

I have this crazy theory that many suffer from angst and related problems simply because we are not doing what we were created for. Each of us have special gifts, skills and personalities that are meant for us to live our lives, making a living and being happy.

Of course life throws us problems both huge and small, but I am talking generally here. What I have observed with others and lived for many years myself is that a human gets pushed, prodded or thrown into doing something totally unsuited for them. They may even make a bad decision to pursue a life goal that is not right for them. The bad thing is they may do well at it, but it robs them of really living the life they were created for.

Then angst sets in. Some can tolerate this "wrong life infliction" for a long period and some absolutely cannot. In either case their lives and the lives of those around them suffer the effects.

I worked at a job for 20 years that I Really did not like. I did it to make someones life dreams and goals come true. Now that I have a "new" life and I am making my own choices I have never been so at peace and have real honest to goodness joy in my life. Hey, I may have to live under a bridge if I can't find a job I love......and I am trying hard....but you know what, no one is ever going to own my soul again.

My motto given to me by a climber friend that has helped me immensely...."Go confidentally in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined." Thoreau

You know, Tobia, jesus is my best friend and he is always with me, but we need to learn and grow and listen and make the tough decisions to be the person ..... really be and live the person....he created us to be.

Thanks for the songs Dude that helped me process the toughest part of my life. Peace, lynnie
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Apr 2, 2010 - 02:24am PT
I have a number of friends who have been on and off several of the drugs, several times.

I've seen those meds help pull them out of the dark hole but once the darkest clouds have passed, It becomes a crap shoot whether the side effects of the drugs (and cost) are worth the questionable benefit (which seems mostly to keep you from getting deep in the hole at the expense of your clarity) Going off or on any med is tricky, risky, and rough, and no drug is without side effects, significant ones.

A common twist of the psyche that we should see within ourselves is this: When we are kids, our parents are Gods and it seems they are giving us exclusive Love. At some point, we disappoint them, or another sibling starts getting some of the love that was all ours, or our parents shatter our illusions in some way. They teach us what we need to be to earn their Love and we envision an idealized self that will earn this Love we need. We project this ideal self to the world to gain this love.

Deep down, nobody can forever live up to the lofty images we project for ourselves. We feel the fraud between who we are and the image we project and thus judge ourselves inadequate. We punish ourselves for not living up to our impossible ideals.

Give yourself and everybody else a break and know that the only normal people are the ones you don't know very well

This is just one consideration. We are spiritual, we are chemical, we are psychological. We live in a house of mirrors and Karma is a bitch.

Like climbing, Life is epic and the game is spiced by the potential for pain. The upside is evolution.

Much Love

Karl
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 2, 2010 - 02:25am PT
I won't comment on that comeback only because I think depression is too dangerous an issue to risk getting sidetracked.

So many of us urge you to seek professional help because a single all-purpose solution eluded our experience and knowledge. You may be someone like me, for whom medication is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for recovery. Similarly, again for me, therapy was also a necessary but not sufficient condition for recovery. They tackle different things. The medication deals directly with my brain chemistry. The therapy gave me a "tool kit" to deal with the practical problems my years of improper brain chemistry caused (those on the Left might think I'm using the wrong tense!). And I, like Lynne, experienced the love of Christ in an amazing way. All of this, though, was just my experience.

An author of other, excellent, posts on this thread used the same medication I use (and probably will need the rest of my life) with completely unsatisfactory results. We share a passion for climbing and even, I believe, the same faith, but what worked for me was harmful to him. Most of us are experts on our own experiences. The professionals have the benefit of experience of many different people.

Again, though, the big thing to remember is that there are a great many of us who care about you (and at least in my case, about any climber dealing with depression). Before I was diagnosed and began treatment, I saw no way out, and was actually planning a convenient soloing "accident" so that my family would have the (then fairly substantial) life insurance proceeds and not really know I'd offed myself. Fortunately, I was too depressed to act on those plans. With treatment I've survived all the consequences of my depressed behavior, and come out better than before. I'm confident that you can, too.

John
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 2, 2010 - 02:50am PT
For me , overcoming depression was a matter of patience, connection and light.(in that order) I won't say I'm cured, as life can cut like a knife and I'm not done with life yet...
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Apr 2, 2010 - 02:56am PT
I'm frequently depressed, and I notice that simple things like just getting out of bed can make an instantaneous difference. Literally - I'll feel really miserable lying there - sad, hopeless, whatever - and when I stand up out of bed it's like a switch was flipped. Point being - when you're feeling like that, try just pushing yourself to make some change even if you really don't feel like it.

So does turning on some music that I really dig, getting out into some semblance of nature (doesn't need to be wilderness, just being around a bunch of "natural" things).

As others have mentioned, sleep makes a big difference for me. If I'm fatigued and feel down, taking a nap often makes me feel *much* happier.

And frequent cardio exercise makes a big difference, too.

Consider cognitive behavioral therapy.

In case your doctor didn't tell you: people often experience worse depression right after they start taking meds. Supposedly it's b/c your brain chemistry has to re-equalize.
locker

Social climber
Desert
Apr 2, 2010 - 03:18am PT

what must it be like to be born and raised in a third world country...




slevin

Trad climber
New York, NY
Apr 2, 2010 - 06:45am PT
There is a pill that can make me a climbing god???
Almost. It's called Anavar - little secret of pro gymnasts and figure skaters. Works for climbers too.

siberian sleeping potion
--How do Russians eat cereal in the morning?
--With vodka
--Really?!
--Yes! And without cereal!
Tobia

Social climber
GA
Apr 2, 2010 - 07:02am PT
I woke up this morning at my alloted hour only to do the "roll over" and go back to sleep.

I still have to drink my coffee and look at the taco before getting on with the day.

Wow, too much posted on this thread to process without the proper dosage of coffee and time.

Juan, I am glad you are trying another med; hope it helps!
Lynne, thanks for your words and I will get back later.

To all others. This is an interesting discussion of a problem that has plagued me since birth. Positively I have to take responsibility for not helping myself as much as I could. The concepts, other than meds and exercise written about here need to be explored.

I am interested in the workbook and the meditation.

I hope this thread continues in the direction it is going. It could lead to some help for all that suffer from this problem; not only that I am starting to believe that the time I have spent on the taco, when I should have been doing other things is looking like time well spent... )and I haven't gotten to the music thread yet to see what new music I might find).

Dr. F I wish I had of expressed my disagreement with your opinion with some other words.
hunter

Trad climber
NYC
Apr 2, 2010 - 11:14am PT
Lots of wisdom here, particularly from Largo.

I'd like to point out to Dr. F and other chemical fundamentalists that few if any neuropharmacologists (and yes, I am one) believe the strict chemical imbalance hypothesis of depression any more. In fact there is a substantial amount of data to suggest that most of the SSRI's are merely active placebos (that is they do something because they feel like they are doing something). Of course even that effect is useful, but to imagine that serotonin re-uptake is the reason for some or all depressions is almost as unscientific as the belief in jesus you deride. Depression is profoundly complicated and we scientists do not understand it very well at all. What is evident is that talk therapy is as effective as drugs in the short run (less than a year) and that the combination of drugs and therapy is better than either alone. Longer term it is not clear if drugs are useful at all: the few studies that have been done on longer term anti-depressant treatment have shown that patients are more likely to be depressed if they are on the drugs for more than a year. It is also clear that exercise and social support are equally important in predicting the outcome of a depression. That is the science, the rest isn't subject to our scrutiny as yet and much of it may never be, as our present scientific model isn't well adapted to the study of our inner lives.
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
Apr 2, 2010 - 11:44am PT
JL - your last post was really (from my perspective) excellent. You took a series of totalistic diatribes (from Dr. F), and brought reason and reflection back into the mix. I've really come to respect (for lack of a better term) your "appreciative agnosticism" on matters of spirituality and psychology.

And Juan, hang in there, man. You've got some great support from some pretty thoughtful and caring folks here. There are clearly quite a few who can look back at moments that seemed pretty bleak, and recognize how they got through--and are getting through. I hope their stories encourage you.

Tom Patterson
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 2, 2010 - 12:34pm PT
Dr. Hunter wrote: "Depression is profoundly complicated and we scientists do not understand it very well at all."

Another factor with depression and other challenges that have a strong physical aspect, is that the symptomology changes a lot, meaning you're often looking at a moving target. One day it can be a sleep disorder, another day, anxiety, yet another, the blues, and so forth and so on. The reason why the strict medical model isn't especially useful for this is beause actual diseases don't present like this. For example, diabetes doesn't look like gout one day and influenza the next. So in this regards, listed to the scientist: "Pofoundly complicated."

It's my impression that understanding how causality works in human life is totally key in treating depression and other disorders like this. What's more, changing how we feel is the consequence of doing things diffrently - a little understood dynamic, and one of the reasons that talk therapy is often of little use in this. Also, the idea opf working a "program" is very useful in this regards.

JL
Reilly

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Apr 2, 2010 - 12:44pm PT
Dr Hunter,
Thanks for an excellent and succinct post! :-)
Thanks to Moosie, Allez, Largo, and others.

This can't be good:
"FAA: Pilots allowed to take antidepressants on job"
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100402/ap_on_bi_ge/us_pilots_antidepressants
pa

climber
Apr 2, 2010 - 12:49pm PT
What is Chemistry, then?

The term comes originally from Arabic, then was latinized to
"keme" = "value". It is the science of matter. (Wikipedia)

Odd how the science of matter is named in terms of value.
A very insubstantial term to describe our most staunch idea of density.


One asks, Why the depression?
Perhaps, it is not a "matter" of Why, but of Who...
WBraun

climber
Apr 2, 2010 - 12:57pm PT
"Why the depression."

Hopelessness
nature

climber
Tucson, AZ
Apr 2, 2010 - 01:01pm PT
How you doing lately, Juan?
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 2, 2010 - 01:14pm PT
Reilly,

Why do you say this?
This can't be good:
"FAA: Pilots allowed to take antidepressants on job"
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100402/ap_on_bi_ge/us_pilots_antidepressants

To me, that's simply the converse of the "depression is only a chemical imbalance" argument. As Dr. Hunter, Largo and others suggest, we still don't know that much about depression. My medication might merely work like an expensive placebo, but it certainly worked to get me back to (and maybe a little beyond) my pre-depressed self. Without many years of functioning at this level unmedicated, I wouldn't trust myself in any responsible position without proper medication. I, and those around me, have complete confidence in my performance now, however.

I think the thrust of the FAA reg change is to allow those whose depression is demonstrably under control to fly. Otherwise, the de facto rule would be that no one may pilot who suffers from depression. That would exlude a lot of extremely capable people.

John
Reilly

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Apr 2, 2010 - 01:20pm PT
John,
Since my knowledge of such is strictly anecdotal I supposed it
based on hearing how people aren't necessarily at their
sharpest when on anti-depressants. That wouldn't matter in most
professions. The FAA also has a time-honored tradition of
questionable decisions.
jstan

climber
Apr 2, 2010 - 01:21pm PT
Where is the data supporting the assertion abnormally large numbers of climbers suffer from depression? Since the condition itself is not easily defined, there will have to be some solid data.

"And as Coz pointed out, a lot of it has to do with being "bound by self," or being crazy self-absorbed. That cycle also has to be broken by various means, one of which is being of service to others."

I have to say I get depressed on those weeks when I take the time to stare at my navel 24x7.

I have found choosing goals and then going all out for them leaves one little good navel gazing time. And then if one never forgets that quitting easily becomes a habit, depression becomes simply a waste of otherwise useful time.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 2, 2010 - 01:34pm PT
jstan,

I'd suggested the possibility (as opposed to asserting its existence) that the populations of climbers contains a higher proportion of people with depression. I think that was on a different thread, though.

The mental health professionals with whom I've dealt all say that lawyers have an abnormally high rate of depression. I know more lawyers than climbers (how's that for a really damning admission?) but I know more climbers who've committed suicide than lawyers who have done so. I based my conjecture on that observation.

John
JuanDeFuca

Big Wall climber
Peenemunde
Apr 2, 2010 - 01:40pm PT
So I am a bit concerned. Do Antidepresives work?

Am I fighting a losing battle?

I really trying to hang in. But its not easy.

Juan

drunkenmaster

Social climber
santa rosa
Apr 2, 2010 - 01:55pm PT
just heard on the "news" that it is now legal to fly a plane on anti depressants - not sure what to think about this??
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 2, 2010 - 02:29pm PT
JDF,

I'm not saying that antidepressants always work. I'm saying that professional help almost always makes things better, and I'm quite certain it will help you.

I might as well tell my full story, because I hope that if you see how low depression took me, and therefore how far I've recovered, you'll see that what looks hopeless is not so.

Since 1991, I've had the highest legal peer-reviewed rating (Martindale-Hubbell "AV") and through the 1990's, at least, had a very admired, successful and lucrative law practice. Although I had momentary bouts of depression since at least 1994, they always went away on their own, so I didn't think I had a medical condition.

That changed in about 2002. Gradually, over the next few years, I grew unable to accomplish even the simplest of tasks at work without monumental effort. In addition, I slowly stopped climbing (a sure sign of illness!), playing the piano, cycling, and just about everything else that I formerly enjoyed. In addition, by then, my wife said I'd become very withdrawn. I slept inordinately. Both my wife and my secretary worried that I was suffering from depression, but I blew them off. I thought that I'd just snap out of it, and anything that was behind in the office would be cured by a couple of extra Saturdays of work.

I was wrong. Finally, in 2005, one client for whom I started litigation, but then stalled, had enough. She said she was coming to my office to see the results of the litigation I'd promised her. I knew it would take her about 45 minutes to get there. Desperate not to be confronted with my inaction, I made up a pleading, and even faked a court order. That latter act was one of forgery and counterfeiting under federal law, and something no sane lawyer would do. I gave her the "order," hoping to shut her up long enough for me to do my job.

Well, the good news was that the immorality of my action really did wake me up. Within a few minutes of her leaving my office, I was so appalled with what I'd done (or to my way of thinking, what I'd become -- a liar) that I immediately sought professional help. A few days later, I went to the court to tell them what happened. Unbeknownst to me, my client was already there, and the court clerk suspected what I'd done before I fessed up. My client had also already gone to the FBI, and my legal goose was cooked.

By then, though, I was hooked up with a physician and a psychologist, each of whom shared my Christian faith. I got good medication and good therapy. I also hooked up with a group of lawyers dealing with mental health and substance abuse issues (although the latter has never been an issue for me, the two often go hand-in-hand. Probably a form of self-medication.)

Talk about an inopportune time to regain my sanity! I saw in my immediate future at least the following: (1) the end of my career; (2) the destruction of my reputation; (3) abject poverty; and (4) no discernable way out. In fact, reality was worse in all respects except no. (4).

My wife had not worked outside our home or my office for almost 20 years, and had let her nursing license lapse. I knew my law license wouldn't remain for long, and I had already decided that I could not take any more new clients, and that I needed to refer all of my existing ones out so that I could end my practice. Unfortunately, our debts still remained. I had to file personal bankruptcy. I resigned from the Bar. I was indicted for forgery, pled guilty, and was sentenced to six months in federal prison. Had I known all this when I first went for help, i certainly would have seen no way out.

Nonetheless, several amazing things started happening then. First and foremost, friends started coming out of the woodwork. Virtually all of the legal community lined up to help me. My church rallied around us. My family did the same. Instead of rejecting me, they came to me. It was like being at my own funeral, and hearing all those nice things people say about you. Perhaps as importantly, they all knew that something had been wrong with me, and were delighted that I was finally doing something about it. Although I cannot excuse my dishonesty, everyone I care about has foregiven that dishonesty.

As my mental ability returned, so did my business opportunities. I had been, in addition to an attorney, an econometrician since 1973. My old roommate from college needed econometric help, and came to me. We're still working together. In addition, after serving my sentence (which I treated like a vacation, but that's another story), two lawyers I'd trained 20 years before hired me to be a sort of in-house scholar. The combination of these two jobs, plus my wife rejoining the nursing profession, is providing sufficient income. More importantly I am the happiest I have been in decades. Even though I'm 58 and had to start over at age 56 when I got out of prison, I see a good future for us.

I hope you conclude that whatever is in your future, it can't be much worse (and, I hope, it is much less worse) than what I went through. We all can help. You're not facing a hopeless battle.

Unfortunately for my comments, but fortunately for my wallet, I need to do some paying work now, but email me if you need someone who's been through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, but now fears no evil. That offer stands, by the way, for anyone dealing with depression.

John
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 2, 2010 - 02:52pm PT
Wow, quite a story John. It seems there are a lot of these tales of woe on this thread. I won't tell my tale, because it pales in comparison to some on here, but it is fairly common and treatable, but each lesson is definitely unique and requires a unique approach. I'm not the first to say it. Let go, be patient and take help in whatever form it comes, and it comes in strange forms. Some folks need to get pretty dark before they can accept the light.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Apr 2, 2010 - 03:32pm PT
My hat is off to John for the above post. You're the man. Way to live.

A5 aid climbers, I can't see doing that if you aren't depressed, but I guess some like it anyway.

Depressed or not, we're all struggling for meaning and satisfaction in life. We have to give heartfelt contemplation on where fulfillment comes from to find the path to wholeness.

Sometimes the depressed people have a leg up on that, because they know they aren't happy, others are just sleeping

Peace

Karl
Jengi

Trad climber
Sacramento, CA
Apr 2, 2010 - 03:41pm PT
I am touched by all the caring encouragement posted to this topic... a great bunch of folks!

Juan, if you are in a place where you need to do something now, call your doctor - or the suicide prevention hotline - now.

Tell them you think you are depressed, that you are having dark thoughts, and that you need help. They will evaluate your situation and provide referrals and/or drugs.

USA National Suicide Hotlines
Toll-Free / 24 hours / 7 days a week

1-800-SUICIDE
1-800-784-2433

1-800-273-TALK
1-800-273-8255
TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889)

http://suicidehotlines.com/california.html

Come back to this forum when you need encouragement. Contact those that have offered and if possible speak to them.

One step at a time, Buddy!
WBraun

climber
Apr 2, 2010 - 03:45pm PT
Huh?

You don't think for a moment that JuanDeFuca doesn't know all this sh'it!

He's a real smart guy who knows the art of trolling ......
Jingy

Social climber
Nowhere
Apr 2, 2010 - 03:49pm PT
Alex has a good point...
"2. your mind still holds images / sounds / scents of times when u werent so depressed

3 - a believable achievable forward vision to get u to one of these not depressed places in your future picture of things is possible


This is the exact method I use when I get struck by the fog of depression..

I have a memory of a time when I was not in the fog.. that thought is usually enough to keep me going...

Just know that you will make it through.. in your own due time... it may be difficult, and a huge struggle.. but it's possible to make it through without thoughst of JC (which ultimately is your own inner voice assuming the possition of JC) or with presciption drugs (which is a nice way of putting off until tomorrow when can be cured today....) I don't think that paying a big drug company for your personal "happy thoughts" is the way to go, but that's just me. Like Alex says...its an expense that I cannot afford.


SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Apr 2, 2010 - 04:01pm PT

JDF
I'm truly sorry to hear the experiences you've been having.
It's not fun. I know. Like John above, I experienced a couple of
bad periods in my life. Almost to suicide the first time, but fortunately
got help--both psychological and medical. Twenty years later my
mother died, and my fiance dumped me almost simultaneously.
I didn't want to die, but I wished I were dead. But I was already
in counseling and had a good doctor. I was ready to check myself
into the hospital for it, but managed to get enough help and not
have to. I really feared that. But the meds are a strange thing.
I've been on quite a few of them, and it takes time to find the
correct one and the right dosage of it also. Sometimes the side-effects
really suck too.
But I urge you to get professional help--those guys know what they
are doing, but if you aren't happy with a doctor, get another one.
With counseling and finding the right medication you can get the
spring back into your step and the joy of life.

I hope you'll get the help and work things out.
My very best wishes to you.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Apr 2, 2010 - 04:16pm PT
Whether or not Juan/Jeff/LA is trolling, this seems to have been a useful discussion for many. I don't have any personal or family experience with this affliction, but think it's quite likely that some relative or friend has had depression, even if transient and not apparent to others. Noting that Canadians tend to be more reticent about discussing such personal matters with family and friends, let alone others.

One lesson seems to be that these sorts of things may be more prevalent than might be thought, aren't all that well understood, and that there's nothing "wrong" with having depression, or seeking treatment. Another seems to be that there are a variety of treatments that may help, but many are external. Some may be able to pull themselves up by their soulstraps, but not many. And that the treatments may include time, exercise, volunteering, community and commitments to others (family, friends, climbing community...), informal or formal therapy (friends/family/colleagues, minister, psychologist...), religion, philosophy, and drugs.

And the real lesson is that there's nothing wrong with seeking help, or at least finding out if there's reason for you to seek help.

If there objectively is an increasing prevalence of such afflictions, then you have to wonder about the values of our society. Shallow materialism doesn't correlate well with happiness, and there's some evidence that once people are reasonably comfortable in the material sense (per capita income about half of the US), they don't get happier with more money.
Flaccid

Gym climber
U.S. of fukkin' A
Apr 2, 2010 - 04:19pm PT
MY GOD ALL YOU GUYS ARE NUCKING FUTZ!
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Apr 2, 2010 - 04:25pm PT
something a little off topic, but in reference to the nebulous nature of symptoms....

I know someone who was diagnosed and began treatment for depression and it turned out to be an abdominal cancer. I kid you not. And apparently this is not entirely uncommon as there are some crossover symptoms and if physiological tests come up negative, the MD may start looking elsewhere - hopefully not down the proverbial garden path.

Anyway, strange but true.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 2, 2010 - 08:21pm PT
Thanks for the kind words. I posted my story to let others know there's hope when there appears to be none, but also to let others who feel like the universe is closing in on them know that they can contact me anytime and will reach someone who understands.

John
Anxious Melancholy

Mountain climber
Between the Depths of Despair & Heights of Folly
Apr 2, 2010 - 08:37pm PT
WB, this might have started as a fools quest, but a majority of responses here, yours included, are constructive. For me personally, they have helped me take another step forward from darkness to light.

Thanks to all for your powerful perspectives.

What an amazing experiance!
locker

Social climber
Desert
Apr 3, 2010 - 12:12am PT


Lois NAILS it!!!...

Hit it right out of the PARK...


Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 4, 2010 - 04:21am PT
Actually, I think Alex is onto something with the reggae music. Bob Marley's music has done wonderful things for my soul. Sound and especially music can have profound effects on the mind. Music can provide a gateway into the subconscious where most of our problems originate. We get all this stuff in our formative years that creates the foundation for future life exigencies. As adults, often we can see clearly perceive the conflict but are unable to change. Access to the subconscious can be a puzzling adventure and there are many experts in various psychological fields that would tell you not to go there or pay an expert to guide you. Maybe. You guys are climbers and you know about fear and fear is the only thing getting in your way. But fear can be nonetheless a dangerous thing in itself.

A couple years ago I came across this technology called Hemi-Sync. With sound, the two hemispheres of the brain are brought into synchronization. This is done by playing two tones of slightly different frequencies through headphones into different ears. The brain will synchronize the two tones and hear one ,and in the process profoundly change the energy flow characteristics of the brain.

Google it sometime.
locker

Social climber
Desert
Apr 4, 2010 - 04:47am PT

Thread Drift:

"No wonder you are so creative with all this photoshopping stuff you do"...

I don't PHOTOSHOP...

That term is very loosly used...

I use PAINT, the weak ass program that's loaded in every PC...




and yeah...

I was pretty "GUD" with the CONVENTIONAL photography...

I KNEW my sh!t for sure...

WASN'T a HACK that did FORMULA crap...

But I no longer SHOOT for a BUCK and no longer have any real gear...

Just a "Point and shoot" digital heap I picked up at "the Wal Mart"...

Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 4, 2010 - 04:50am PT
What made you give it up, Locker? Were you not special enough?
locker

Social climber
Desert
Apr 4, 2010 - 05:01am PT
Wayno...

Boils down to...

I burned myself OUT...


EDITED:

Continued "Thread Drift"...



Wayno...

at any given moment, should I choose to re-enter the field, I certainly could...

Also, I am degreed and certified for life, to Teach at the College level in both California and Arizona...

and honestly, sometimes it's tempting...



Was I not "Special" enough???...

People liked my work and paid for it...

I suppose that made it "Special" to them...

;-)

Flaccid

Gym climber
U.S. of fukkin' A
Apr 4, 2010 - 12:33pm PT
INSERT WOLF GUY F*#KING TAILPIPE PIC ASAP
mountain dog

Trad climber
over the hills and far away
Apr 4, 2010 - 12:41pm PT
Flaccid=Poser.
Flaccid

Gym climber
U.S. of fukkin' A
Apr 4, 2010 - 02:14pm PT
^^^^ FAG

photo not found
Missing photo ID#137512
Blinky

Trad climber
North Carolina
Apr 4, 2010 - 03:13pm PT
LA, I was diagnosed bi-polar at a young age, I'm 50 now and take no drugs or do anything special to deal with it... I just don't go into those deep long swings anymore, my moods have leveled out naturally.

BUT, early on Prozac was just what I needed. Took it for four months. The key is to break the long period and few people can do that through strength of will alone. Once you're back to being above the line you can rejigger your lifestyle to better keep the deep swings away.

You need to find out why you're depressed. Sure, it's chemical but (and this will sound obvious) people don't get depressed when they are healthy and happy. People get depressed when some kind of stressor makes them susceptible. When you lose your ability to compensate because you are heavily stressed, you're more likely to succumb to an illness.

The single best therapy for me is exercise... hard exercise, the kind that hurts. It's a b!tch to get going but after experiencing the results a few times I learned to just do it no matter how bad I felt.
I'm lousy at pure exercise though, I need to go fast or chase a ball or climb something. The best thing I ever did for myself was quit the office gigs and get into hard outdoor work... it doesn't hurt that climbing trees everyday makes it easy to feel good... and surprisingly, I don't miss the money at all. Life is good and spending less makes me feel better about my place in the world.

...and I never believed I would say anything like that, I was pretty good at making money.

Flaccid

Gym climber
U.S. of fukkin' A
Apr 4, 2010 - 04:06pm PT
Yet, in the end, he was delivered from his personal demons, by his desire.

I THOUGHT HE WAS SHOT?
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
Will know soon
Apr 4, 2010 - 09:21pm PT
Blinky, agree with all you say. lynnie
JuanDeFuca

Big Wall climber
Peenemunde
Apr 5, 2010 - 04:26pm PT
So I survived the weekend. Had a terrible reaction to cymbalta and nearly checked into the Hospital. Feel better today. One day at a time is what I keep telling myself. Praying for deliverance. I have lost 25lbs in the last 6 weeks after I stopped Zyprexa. I should really notice this when I get back to Stoney Point in the next few days.

I miss the Zyprexa, it stopped my storming mind. But I am going to have to learn to live without it and find other ways to quiet my mind.

Thanks again for all the wonderful info that has been posted.

Jeff "Mindstorm" De Fuca
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 5, 2010 - 05:04pm PT
Jeff, check out the Hemi-Sync. For the price of a CD, you might find some peace of mind.
JuanDeFuca

Big Wall climber
Peenemunde
Apr 5, 2010 - 06:54pm PT
Circuits in your brain light up when you're happy. One groundbreaking researcher has discovered how to keep them lit.



There are no dark corners in Madison, Wisconsin, a university town that sparkles with endowment and research dollars—more than $900 million last year—as well as just plain Midwestern niceness. The grants are well earned: It was at the University of Wisconsin–Madison that the first bone marrow transplant was performed and the first synthetic gene was created. It was here that human stem cells were isolated and cultured in a lab for the first time. And for more than a decade, one of the campus's most productive hit makers has been the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, run by a 56-year-old neuroscientist and professor of psychology and psychiatry named Richard J. Davidson, PhD, who has been systematically uncovering the architecture of emotion.

Davidson, whose youthful appearance and wide-open smile give him more than a passing resemblance to Jerry Seinfeld, has been studying the brain structures behind not just anxiety, depression, and addiction but also happiness, resilience, and, most recently, compassion. Using brain imaging technologies, in particular a device called a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine, a sort of Hubble telescope for the brain, Davidson and his researchers have observed the areas associated with various emotions and how their function changes as an individual moves through them. His "brain maps" have revealed the neural terrain of so-called normal adults and children, as well as those suffering from mood disorders and autism. Davidson has also studied a now rather famous group of subjects: Tibetan monks with years of Buddhist meditation under their gleaming pates.

Probably his most well-known study mapped the brains of employees at a biotech company, more than half of whom completed about three hours of meditation once a week led by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. After four months, the meditating subjects noticed a boost in mood and decrease in anxiety, while their immune systems became measurably stronger. What made headlines, though ("The Science of Happiness" sang a January 2005 Time magazine cover), was that Davidson vividly showed that meditation produced a significant increase in activity in the part of the brain responsible for positive emotions and traits like optimism and resilience—the left prefrontal cortex. In meditating monks, he'd separately found, this area lit up like the lights in Times Square, showing activity beyond anything he and his team had ever seen—a neurological circuit board explaining their sunny serenity.

These and other findings of Davidson's have bolstered mounting research suggesting that the adult brain is changeable, or "plastic," as opposed to becoming fixed in adolescence. What this means is that although an individual may be born with a predisposition toward gloominess or anxiety, the emotional floor plan can be altered, the brain's furniture moved to a more felicitous arrangement; with a little training, you can coax a fretful mind toward a happier outlook. It's a new understanding of the brain that represents a paradigm shift of seismic importance, and one that's sent a steady stream of reporters out to Madison like pilgrims on the road to Santiago. Perhaps just as seismic is Davidson's "coming out of the closet" (his phrase) as a highly regarded, marquee-name brain researcher with a focus on contemplation, and a commitment to putting compassion and spirituality on the scientific map.

The letters on the license plate of Davidson's silvery green Subaru Outback spell out EMOTE, but the man himself does not ooze. Gentle and precise in his speech, he is the consummate scientist, curious, quietly passionate, and utterly on topic. And despite all the buzz about his work, he'll tell you simply that he has been chipping away at the same ideas about consciousness for more than three decades.

Raised in Brooklyn—his father was in the real estate business—Richie, as friends call him, is still married to his college sweetheart, Susan, a perinatologist and director of the perinatal program at St. Mary's Hospital and Dean Medical Center in Madison. They were born nine days and a few blocks apart; both graduated high school at 16 (she from Erasmus, he from Midwood), and both have graduate degrees in psychology from nearby universities: his from Harvard, hers from the University of Massachusetts. "You couldn't have arranged a better match," he says.

When they arrived in Cambridge in the early 1970s, every swami guru and his mother was selling his wares and giving lectures, says the Davidsons' old friend Jon Kabat-Zinn, who had recently completed his own PhD, in molecular biology at MIT: "You could get an alternate education just by going to all the talks." The first spiritual leader to touch Davidson was Richard Alpert, the Harvard professor who'd been fired for his liberal deployment of LSD among his students and was reborn, phoenixlike, as Ram Dass. Through him, Davidson learned "that there was a way to work on yourself to transform your way of being, to make you happier and more compassionate." And that way was meditation.

Another big influence was fellow student Daniel Goleman, who went on to become a psychologist and the author of Emotional Intelligence, among other books. In 1973 he had already traveled to India, developed a contemplative practice, and published papers about it. At that time, Goleman remembers, "there was a strong sense of the new, a sense of something that had not been realized or executed before, and that it had some sort of importance for the culture."

Two visuals that distill the period for Davidson are the memory of Goleman's bright red VW van, its dashboard decorated with photographs of lamas and yogis—as enticing and otherworldly as Ken Kesey's psychedelic school bus—and a 1974 snapshot of him and Goleman wearing Harvard T-shirts and sarongs in Sri Lanka, where Goleman was then living, and where Susan and Richie visited before embarking on their first meditation retreat in India.

"My professors were firmly convinced I was going off the deep end," Davidson says. "But I knew I was going to come back. I was committed to a scientific career. Still, I needed to taste more intensive meditation in that setting." And it was the hardest work he's ever done—16-hour days, two weeks of them, in utter silence. "Anyone who says meditation is relaxation doesn't know what they're talking about. It's like trying to change the course of a river."

When he returned from India, he finished his PhD and started to craft a research career around emotions, at the time the backwater of psychology. It was extraordinarily difficult. "The measuring devices were too crude," he says. "You couldn't see, as we can now, what was happening in the brain." And neuroscience barely existed.

.
"Richie was always kind of eclectic—he wasn't bound by any discipline," says Susan, who became, as her husband likes to say, a "real doctor." His roving interests made him an odd fit, initially, for some universities. "Richie had finished his degree at Harvard, been published in all these journals, but he would go to job interviews and they would say, 'Oh, you're too clinical for our psychology department, or too this for our that,'" Susan says. "People found him interesting, but they didn't want to commit."

What changed the face of his career, according to Davidson, was a meeting in 1992 with Tenzin Gyatso, otherwise known as the 14th Dalai Lama, who urged him to home in on compassion as the object of serious and rigorous study. "If you look at the index of any scientific textbook, you won't find the word compassion," Davidson says. "But it is as worthy a topic of examination as all the negative emotions—fear, anxiety, sadness, anger, disgust—that have long occupied the scientific community."

When I visit Davidson in Madison, where he and Susan have lived since 1985 and raised their children, Amelie, now 26, and Seth, 20, he tells me about his latest research: Reminding me that the Dalai Lama's mandate is to effect change in the world through the power of compassion, Davidson says, "If this is truly possible, then we should be able to discover circuits in the brain that underlie compassion and that are strengthened when it is cultivated."

His new studies on the monks—"the Olympic athletes of meditation," as he calls them—are designed to measure what happens when they engage specifically in compassion practice. So far, he's found that their brains show dramatic changes in two telling areas: increased activity not only in the prefrontal cortex—which floods them with well-being—but also in the areas involved with motor planning. It seems the monks are not just "feeling" good; their brains have primed their bodies to spring up and "do" good. "They are poised to jump into action and do whatever they can to help relieve suffering," Davidson says. (As for his own practice, Judaism is Davidson's "birth religion," but he characterizes his spiritual path as being most similar to a Buddhist one, though he hesitates to describe himself as a card-carrying devotee. Certainly all who know him say that Davidson is a glass-half-full sort of guy—his mother even called him her Joy Boy, while Susan says, "Richie is consistently upbeat." And yes, he has mapped parts of his own brain, and admits it "showed moderately strong left prefrontal activation.")

Whether generosity of spirit rubs off on others is another question Davidson has begun to probe. "We've launched a study with a highly trained, long-term Buddhist practitioner, looking at the impact of his compassionate attitude on ordinary individuals. We bring them into the MRI scanner, we expose them to pictures of suffering—gory accidents and things like that. We do this under two conditions: one where they are in the presence of an experimenter, and one where they are in the presence of the monk." Davidson is curious to see whether the results will bear out anecdotal reports that in the presence of an extremely compassionate person, you feel more relaxed, secure, loved, and safe



His team is also putting ordinary individuals, first-timers, through a two-week intervention that includes 30 minutes a day of compassion meditation. Davidson predicts changes in the brain regions associated with emotion and empathy as well as the subjects making more altruistic decisions: "They will also have the opportunity to give away some of what they earn for their participation in the study," he says. "We expect that those undergoing compassion training will donate more money."

The idea that compassion can be learned—and that the process can be measured scientifically—is what thrills Davidson. And he envisions compassion training in a variety of settings, from public schools to the corporate world. "Now we mostly have monks and other religious figures preaching about these ideas," he says. "It's quite another thing to have a hard-nosed neuroscientist like me suggest that such training may have beneficial consequences for how we act toward others as well as promoting health. Most people accept the idea that regular physical exercise is something they should do for the remainder of their lives. Imagine how different things might be if we accepted the notion that the regular practice of mental exercises to strengthen compassion is something to incorporate into everyday life."

To what extent can we really brighten our outlook? What is the best way to deflect stress? How can people become more resilient? Are there other ways aside from meditation to boost the brain? Many questions remain to be answered. It is a tantalizing prospect: that even a little more joy might be within everyone's reach. "I've been talking about happiness not as a trait but as a skill, like tennis," says Davidson. "If you want to be a good tennis player, you can't just pick up a racket—you have to practice."
JuanDeFuca

Big Wall climber
Peenemunde
Apr 5, 2010 - 07:02pm PT
Start by closing your eyes and thinking about someone you love.





Compassion meditation involves silently repeating certain phrases that express the intention to move from judgment to caring, from isolation to connection, from indifference or dislike to understanding. You don't have to force a particular feeling or get rid of unpleasant or undesirable reactions; the power of the practice is in the wholehearted gathering of attention and energy, and concentrating on each phrase. You can begin with a 20-minute session and increase the time gradually until you are meditating for half an hour at a time. If your mind wanders, don't be concerned. Notice whatever has captured your attention, let go of the thought or feeling, and simply return to the phrases. If you have to do that over and over again, it is fine.




•To begin, take a comfortable position. You may want to sit in a chair or on cushions on the floor (just make sure your back is erect without being strained or overarched). You can also lie down. Take a few deep, soft breaths to let your body settle.
•Closing your eyes or leaving them slightly open, start by thinking of someone you care about already—perhaps she's been good or inspiring to you. You can visualize this person or say her name to yourself, get a feeling for her presence, and silently offer phrases of compassion to her. The typical phrases are: "May you be free of pain and sorrow. May you be well and happy." But you can alter these, or use others that have personal significance.
•After a few minutes, shift your attention inward and offer the phrases of compassion to yourself: "May I be free of pain and sorrow. May I be well and happy."
•Then, after some time, move on to someone you find difficult. Get a feeling for the person's presence, and offer the phrases of compassion to her.
•Then turn to someone you've barely met—the supermarket checkout woman or UPS man. Even without knowing his or her name, you can get a sense of the person, perhaps an image, and offer the phrases of compassion.
•We close with the offering of compassion to people everywhere, to all forms of life, without limit, without exception: "May all beings be free of pain and sorrow. May all be well and happy."
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 5, 2010 - 07:07pm PT
That sounds like good stuff. Have you tried it? Does it work, or are you just scratching your back?
Lost Arrow

Trad climber
The North Ridge of the San Fernando
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 17, 2010 - 06:26am PT
I went and met my new physicist Fri afternoon. He told me I was being giving the wrong meds. He wants me back on a SSRI I have had so much help with in the past.

He wants to give me new meds to get my sleep under control.

Will maintain my Xanax until I can be weaned off it.

Whats to spend am hour a week doing cognitive therapy as I see a very distorted view of the world. I see a world of fear.

So I am feeling better.

Juan
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Why'djya leave the ketchup on the table?
Apr 17, 2010 - 06:37am PT
You'll be a democrat again in no time buddy!

DMT
Lost Arrow

Trad climber
The North Ridge of the San Fernando
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 17, 2010 - 06:46am PT
Where you off to Dingus?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Why'djya leave the ketchup on the table?
Apr 17, 2010 - 07:15am PT
Not sure buddy. As you can see I don't sleep normal patterns either. In my case I generally go to bed quite early by human standards. I gave up, a long time ago, being upset with myself for getting up so early.

I've been sitting here trying to decide what to do LA. Gonna climb with Ang tomorrow, and the kid is otherwise busy today (Papa, I intend to SLEEP... Saturday... OK there kid, sleep on!).

Thinking about tossing the ole planks in the back of the jeep, head up to Carson Pass, see if I can avoid claustrophobic death on the white stuff. Maybe go do some bouldering down Woodsford way afterward.

Or maybe not, can't decide!

Say... you will like this LA. My f*#king Jeep just quit working this week. I parked it one evening and the next morning I turn the key, nothing.

Well not quite nothing, I got 'woltage' but the starter won't do sh#t.

So I troubleshoot over the course of a couple of days.... battery is good, can't really tell if the alternator is... f*#ker won't start!

I eventually concluded the solenoid wasn't firing. Last evening, as a test, I turned the key on and using a long piece of wire, with one end attached to the solennoid firing terminal, I touched the other end of that wire to the batter + terminal.

BOOM!

...





Kidding! Just Kidding!

Damn Jeep started right up!

Ah... something in the firing circuit. Soe googlosity reveals cheap assed Jeep construction - Jeeps have a notorious problem with the Transmission Neutral Safety Switch - the gizmo that tells the car computer the tranny is in park or neutral so as not to engage the starter when the engine is running.

That switch, or the computer down stream, was bad. A couple more minutes revealed a dark secret - the switch replacement is around $200!

F*#K!

A few more minutes research revealed the "Tennessee Fix."

Down at Kragen (Woulda gone to Radio Shack, cheaper and more choice, but farther away at 5 PM on a Friday, f*#k THAT) - I bought some wire, an inline fuse holder, some fuses, and a push button switch.

Poked wire through the firewall and mounted that switch on the plastic bezel beside the steering column. The other ends of those wires went to a 12v batter wire and the solenoid terminal, respectively. Fuse in there to keep things honest.

Bing bang boom - turn the key, push the button voila! Starts right up. Switch is unobtrusive so Jeep is now somewhat Jack Proof, though no one is going to steal it anyway.

So there you go - major Jeep outage, $20 repair. I was in an unfortunate mood all week cause of that Jeep... then a big UP last evening. Got so happy I took the family out to dinner!

Now I'm gonna brew another cup of Joe, fire some sacrifical herbs in a small religious brazier I keep in the garage for predawn road trip prayers to the gods... oh maybe I should get dressed and throw some sh#t in that sh#t Jeep of mine.... I'm outta here bro!

Cheers LA
(has we REALLY been kibitizing online for 17 years Wan? SEVENTEEN????

DMT
DMT
Tobia

Social climber
GA
Apr 17, 2010 - 08:01am PT
Dingus:

I suffer from similar patterns in sleep. Sometimes I have to go to bed as soon as I get home from work, sleep a few hours and awake until the wee hours, then fall asleep long enough to say I was asleep before the alarm goes off for work.

That is one pattern and is ok to live with. The other phase is when I sleep from about 11 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. and up until the next night at 11... this goes on for 6 or 7 days until I am so exhausted I sleep for 16 hours or so.

This is tough to deal with because I am wired while I am awake. I had a big rig hauling logs & mail for awhile and it was ok because driving a truck at night is much easier than daytime driving; besides less traffic it is always a quick unloading process and less personality to deal with. As a teacher this pattern is disastrous.

The other pattern is interrupted sleep but normal hours; every once in awhile 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. When that happens I feel 15 years younger and usually have a great day.

I tried all the sleep meds and my own. I did a lot of reading and research about how to deal with it and discovered the best thing to do is just live with it. The myth that humans need and usually get 8 hours of interrupted sleep is baloney. The wonderful world of advertising has convinced us that we should sleep like babies and something is wrong if we don't. Agreeably it is wonderful to sleep like that; people that do are fortunate. Historically speaking it hasn't ever been part of life.





graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Aug 2, 2010 - 05:13pm PT
From Jeff in April (in the original post of this thread):

For the last month I have been trying to beat my depression with will power alone. This is not working, I cannot sleep, I grow more fatigued each day and start thinking dark thoughs.

I have family mememeber telling me to just snap out of it. I wish it was that easy.

Its like getting up a climb without the necessary strenght to do the moves.

I had to call in sick to work as I sleept 1 hour.

Whats the next step I need to take. New Doctor. Hospital.

I am starting to give up hope.

A little compassion and suggestions would be very nice.




Juan
Daphne

Trad climber
Mill Valley, CA
Aug 2, 2010 - 05:34pm PT
Aug 2, 2010 - 02:31pm PT
There's so many resources needed to support a suicidal person. Please make a note of this toll free 24 hour number for someone you know who may be struggling. They might not use it but giving it will let them know you care that they live

1(800)273-8255 (TALK)

The user formerly known as stzzo

Social climber
Aug 11, 2010 - 10:52pm PT
It's a shock to my system to see this thread resurrected... Not that it's bad, just disturbing.

RIP, Juan.
Mimi

climber
Aug 11, 2010 - 11:03pm PT
Jeff's post on April 17th was telling. Something didn't work out by the time May 25th rolled around. So terribly sad that he felt compelled to end his life.

"I went and met my new physicist Fri afternoon. He told me I was being giving the wrong meds. He wants me back on a SSRI I have had so much help with in the past.

He wants to give me new meds to get my sleep under control.

Will maintain my Xanax until I can be weaned off it.

Whats to spend am hour a week doing cognitive therapy as I see a very distorted view of the world. I see a world of fear.

So I am feeling better." Juan
TripL7

Trad climber
san diego
Aug 13, 2010 - 05:00am PT
Daphne- "Please make a note of this *TOLL FREE 24 HOUR NUMBER* for someone you know who may be struggling."

*1(800)273-8255(TALK)*

Thanks, Daphne!!
Demented

climber
Jun 3, 2011 - 03:52pm PT
Bump.

Been riding high on Wellbutrin for the last 2 1/2 weeks. The crash came hard last night. There is no free lunch.

Just trying to make it through today (and no, alcohol feels good but does not help...

More later.
nutjob

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Jun 3, 2011 - 04:20pm PT
Sometimes it's darkest before you see the light.

What means the most to you in this life?
Anastasia

climber
hanging from an ice pick and missing my mama.
Jun 3, 2011 - 04:55pm PT
Very depressing to see how the cycle formed before he took his own life. He really was a great guy...

It's ridicules to tear apart others as if people are indestructible. We are not. Words can kill and... They can save. Be careful what you say.

We need each other, we need to be there because it does count in a million ways.
nutjob

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Jun 3, 2011 - 06:01pm PT
toadgas, I suspect depression is at least as common in the broader public as it is within the climbing community. One difference we might note is that people feel more comfortable sharing with "strangers" in this forum more readily than walking down the street or with someone you met 5 minutes ago climbing. So we actually become aware of the issue here, where we normally walk past it in our tangible life. How many people meet your eyes when you walk down the street? Mostly people are too busy or too afraid to see or be seen.

I think there is something therapeutic in these forums, something that makes it easier for some people to connect in a personally meaningful way more frequently than they are able to do in tangible life (either because of personal inhibitions, or work schedules, geographic isolation, or whatever). I think this is true for me at least.

+1 for what Anastasia said.
Tobia

Social climber
GA
Jun 3, 2011 - 08:31pm PT
Toadgas,

You hit the nail on the head. The days I feel "good" are the ones that at the days end I am completely exhausted from activities out of doors. It isn't always aerobic or fast paced activities like running. Mainly tasks like splitting wood, moving dirt or any other energy depleting activity. Activities that are more aligned with work than pleasure. Leisure activities per se seem less fulfilling than stacking stones.

I don't get the endorphin rush as I do with something like a long run; more of a satisfied mind because I have earned my salt or something like that.

Anastasia,

May your kindness seep through all the posts on this forum.
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Jun 3, 2011 - 08:34pm PT
Isn't it about the one year anniversary of Juan's death? Still think about him often.
Weld_it

Trad climber
Chatsworth
Jun 3, 2011 - 08:37pm PT
FACT: http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1231223/Jeff-Batten-Juan-de-Fuca-Memorial-Thread
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Jun 9, 2011 - 05:39pm PT
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/09/lives-cut-short-by-depression/?ref=health
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
Jun 9, 2011 - 05:42pm PT
I'm ready.
Papillon Rendre

Social climber
Jun 13, 2011 - 11:05pm PT
My son's close friend hung himself last Friday.

Tyler was the happiest young man and he never showed any signs of depression or sadness. The entire sophomore class loved him.

He was an athlete, scholar and barely 16.

I googled teen suicide and was shocked to learn the percentage of teens who attempt suicide and the percentage who succeed.

Please keep your children safe.



Anastasia

climber
hanging from an ice pick and missing my mama.
Jun 13, 2011 - 11:07pm PT
Life is stranger than fiction. Really is...
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
Jun 13, 2011 - 11:23pm PT
I'm sorry about your sons friend. I hid my problems with depression all through High school. I was seen as a happy kid. Now.. Most days I'm surprised I'm still alive.
sullly

Trad climber
Jun 13, 2011 - 11:33pm PT
Keep on keeping on John Moosie.

Papillon, a similar thing happened with a girl in my daughter's class this year. Fight with boyfriend led to hanging herself in boyfriend's house. Two years ago a girl hanged herself near my classroom at lunch. She's alive, but a vegetable. A science teacher and custodian were able to cut her down in time to save her life. Kids were texting and Facebooking mean things about her before the incident.
Karen

Trad climber
So Cal urban sprawl Hell
Jun 14, 2011 - 12:25am PT
what I'd like to know If a person is put on an SSRI and they go totally manic are they bipolar?
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
Jun 14, 2011 - 12:55am PT
what I'd like to know If a person is put on an SSRI and they go totally manic are they bipolar?

WARNING.. what you are about to read is opinion. I am not a doctor. ( I know you know that, but some people freak out.. eek!!! )


There are studies that say SSRIs can cause mania.. Here is a page with a bunch of studies. I don't know how legit they are.

http://www.antidepressantsfacts.com/antidepressants-ADF.htm

Scroll down a ways and look at the headings.

Here is just one of them..

http://www.antidepressantsfacts.com/paxil-study-mania.htm

By the way.. which SSRI? I have had SSRI induced mania.


.....

Maybe one of the docs will chime in.
damo62

Social climber
Brisbane
Jun 14, 2011 - 12:59am PT
Karen,
A long time ago I was prescribed Zoloft and left unsupervised and in retrospect I believe I was manic for a few months. I have never been diagnosed as bipolar just depressed. Recently I decided to stop taking psych meds altogether, replacing them with daily qigong practise, I've never felt better (touch wood).
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Nov 15, 2012 - 11:59pm PT
I forget what I was searching for, but I came across this.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Nov 16, 2012 - 12:05am PT
On April 1, 2010, Jeff Batten posted:

For the last month I have been trying to beat my depression with will power alone. This is not working, I cannot sleep, I grow more fatigued each day and start thinking dark thoughs.

I have family mememeber telling me to just snap out of it. I wish it was that easy.

Its like getting up a climb without the necessary strenght to do the moves.

I had to call in sick to work as I sleept 1 hour.

Whats the next step I need to take. New Doctor. Hospital.

I am starting to give up hope.

A little compassion and suggestions would be very nice.


Juan


On May 25, 2010 he was gone.

Public records show that our friend Jeff Batten has left us, on May 25th, 2010

He posted as Juan de fuca, prowsolo, the general, rockstar, lostarrow and other alias.

And he was the original internet troll on the subject of climbing, dating far back into the usenet board Rec.climbing, before the web had such communications.

For a long time, Jeff's posts were merely trolls, sometime appreciated, sometimes resented. But as time went on, Jeff opening up and shared more and more of himself with the online community. His scientific interests, his struggles with physical pain and depression, and his explorations into spirituality. He was our taco seismograph.

I choose to believe that Jeff is relieved from his struggles now, after facing them and exploring many ways of inner peace. I offer condolences for those who knew and will miss him. We will.

Perhaps we can post some of his classic trolls, cartoons featuring Jeff by Ouch (another fallen brother) and some of his other sharings.

Fly high Jeff, on your greatest adventure since soloing the Prow.

Peace

Karl
other

Trad climber
LA, CA
Nov 16, 2012 - 04:10am PT
My climbing partner killed himself. He was clinically depressed and would not take prescribed meds. He was 45.
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Nov 16, 2012 - 01:56pm PT
I have suffered a few periods in my life where I could not sleep for months on end. It just hammers a person and makes living day to day very difficult.
I was lucky enough to know the real cause of this state. It was always work related, working too hard, working in the wrong situation, work stress etc.
I am fortunate that I was able to go to part time work(60%) in blocks so I have 12 days off at a time. The time off means I can spend lots of time in the outdoors, do a lot more climbing, and take some good holidays. This has the effect of cleaning my brain so I am enthusiastic and very productive when I get back to work. My productivity per hour has increased so my employers are actually getting a good deal.
People are reluctant to talk about their problems because we don't want to be seen as weak.
If you can identify the underlying cause of the issues then there is the possibility of fixing things.
covelocos

Trad climber
Nor Cal
Nov 16, 2012 - 02:14pm PT
I suffered what felt like a bout of depression in the 90's when 'we' invaded Kuait. Listening to NPR describe bombs falling while my children ran naked thru the poppies in the meadow. This lasted several months and resulted in alienating myself from my family and friends. I found relief one day in about ten min. when I came across the mental health chapter in 'The Better Homes and gardens guide to family health'. I know that my problem is not the same as anyone else necessarily. but to gain that insight saved me from who knows what. Oh yeah. then I found climbing!
enjoimx

Trad climber
Yosemite, ca
Nov 16, 2012 - 03:42pm PT
So what was your insight Cove?
Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
Aug 12, 2014 - 10:24am PT
On the wings of Robin Williams- and in memory of the OP Juan de Prow Solo- I thought I'd bump this thread.

My experience w the Big D was late '10. Heavy multiple family & marriage stuff, serious biz challenges, then I got real sick (whooping cough) conspired to send me south. I was not exercising, got hooked on Ambien (which frucked up my sleep cycle). Psyc meds probably made things worse, tho Wellbutrin helped pull me out.

Friends made a big positive difference. Dave Bruckman was always trying to get me out mtn biking. Tony Yeary was in my corner. Pat Nay’s door was always open. Ditto Tarbuster Roy’s telephone. I recall at the ’11 Flanders Fest, Dean Cragman was super encouraging trying to get me to attend in spite of the fact I could barely climb out of bed.

3 years later, I could not have imagined life being as good as it is. The below photo is NOT a depressed man, no….

Credit: Sewellymon
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Aug 12, 2014 - 10:32am PT
Look, the fact that you've been through what you've been through personally should be the evidence I point to.
The fact that you are here to write this should be enough to stick with it. A new idea is just around the corner, a new way of thinking about this happens.
If you notice yourself starting to cycle your thoughts, shut it off with a hum (secret - you are in control of your head more than you think).

Keep it up
Cheers
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Aug 12, 2014 - 10:42am PT
thanks for the bump and the success story, swelly.

my trip is cyclical.
one week i'm conquering my world, and then some,
and the next week i recede into a self-imposed beating.

i recognize it,
and have dabbled with ill-coping mechanisms.

for now, i just ride it out,
and await the return of the my hyper-glow.

the highs and my accomplishments during such
are what emotionally drag me thru the down times.

i forsee a time when
i am less able in the body,
and thus will become more
prone to extended lows,
as i will lack the verve
to re-ignite my dim torch.

we'll see, huh.
when the light shines.
and we'll see
when it doesn't.

i haven't a self-concern, nor a selfish care in the world.
i am very much extended in
building up and protecting my two lovely daughters.



Tvash

climber
Seattle
Aug 12, 2014 - 10:49am PT
Some non-doc advice:

Get advice from your doctor. The internet is fine, but you get what you pay for here.

Be very wary of advice from those who do not experience your condition. Their advice tends towards the exercise/diet/sleep - everything will be OK line. Good advice for anyone, of course, but that often isn't enough.

Examining one's life philosophy (Choice Theory and Rational Emotive Therapy is a good start) can also help short circuit those downward spiraling thoughts.

If you're a diabetic, you take insulin. Nobody says boo. If you suffer from depression and you take meds, some folks still think that's not the proper course of action.

Ignore them. Do what works for you.

And track your moods daily. Jot down some data to track what does and doesn't work.

Here's one not a lot of folks think about: suicides often happen not when a person is most deeply depressed (when there isn't enough motivation to act - but when they are climbing out of a period of depression, and 'seem to be getting better', and so have the motivation to act.

Life may serve you a sh#t sandwich, and you may have to eat some of it, but you can also change restaurants.

Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Aug 12, 2014 - 10:58am PT
i concur,
and i am methodically
instigating a vast change
in my domain:

i am selling the home that i built
and our mountain cabin;

and then reinvesting the equity
in a humble shack
with no land
and thus i'll be responsible
for 300 dollars a month shelter expense.

the old mid-life is creeping in (i'm 40)
and i am dodging crisis
by increasing my situational elasticity.
coolrockclimberguy69

climber
Aug 12, 2014 - 11:02am PT
And furthermore, f*#k all these tough-love shitlords throwing around words like "cowardly" and "selfish".

If you don't have depression, you need to shut the f*#k up about suicide. Have some empathy and thank your dear lord in heaven that you don't have it because it f*#king sucks.

/rant
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Aug 12, 2014 - 11:04am PT

Mental health issues are a huge problem in the US. . .
and still looked on as 'weakness'. . .
Unfortunately they're a real disease. . .
Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
Aug 12, 2014 - 11:07am PT
Weeg- you still sober? That sure helps. My wife stopped drinking a year ago, and over the last 3- 4 months I am down to just dribs and drabs. I like that at 10:30 at night I can practice guitar and not be all muddy headed....

Tvash

climber
Seattle
Aug 12, 2014 - 11:13am PT
Yeah, the drinking has to go. 100%. So much easier and less stressful than trying to 'manage it'.

Mos def step one. Gotta get to a baseline to track the positive results of any experimentation.

I know several friends who just have a glass of wine a night or every other night but let even that low level of consumption go. They report feeling incredibly better and more vibrant - more energy in the evening - brighter i in the morning.

They're always surprised at the negative effects of even a wee bit o' the sauce.

Oh, and it goes without saying - lose the guns and pills. The stats are grim there.

Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Aug 12, 2014 - 11:17am PT
no. i hold on to my off-track love affair with beer.

but i only enjoy liaisons maybe twice a month;
the criteria being that
i have more than one day to myself.

i.e. the girls go out of town with mom,
or i'm allotted a daddy holiday in strawberry.

but basically i never drink around
anyone that i love.

i get along just fine with my inner dirtbag.
it's those around me whom love me that clash
with my filthy heart.
crankster

Trad climber
Aug 12, 2014 - 11:21am PT
Those that don't know, don't know.
pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Aug 12, 2014 - 11:23am PT
juan defuca will always be missed!

PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Aug 12, 2014 - 11:30am PT
If anyone ever feels that they need someone to talk to, referrals, advice, please don't hesitate to shoot me an e-mail. In the essence of full disclosure, I am an MFT intern, will be graduating this Fall, and currently see clients. The common denominator in depression is feeling alone. There is a difference between being along and feeling alone. There is tons of help available, you just need to find the courage to ask.

As for the outsiders, the best thing you can do is to sit quietly and be an active listener. Ask questions to understand the person's world through their own eyes. Depression and personality disorders are a result of trauma. Most people have no idea how much the people around them are suffering. Suffering from years of physical, mental, sexual, and emotional abuse, and neglect. Don't make the conversation about yourself by telling the person how you got through a situation. You will lose that person. People don't like being told what they should and shouldn't do. Listen and have some compassion. You may just save someone's life just by simply listening and getting them to see a professional.
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Aug 12, 2014 - 11:31am PT
And furthermore, f*#k all these tough-love shitlords throwing around words like "cowardly" and "selfish".

If you don't have depression, you need to shut the f*#k up about suicide. Have some empathy and thank your dear lord in heaven that you don't have it because it f*#king sucks.


word
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Aug 12, 2014 - 11:33am PT
Depression is largely genetic. The idea that it is the result of trauma - the 'you're damaged goods' theory - is dated and, in many cases, counterproductive towards achieving a better outcome.

The hard fact is - neither you nor anyone else can discern the root cause of your depression - but that doesn't matter. Searching for a cause you will not find is an utter waste of time and money. All you need to know is that you experience it, and all you need to focus on is what positive steps you can take in the present to mitigate it.

Listening is good, but dragging someone through whatever life trauma they've experienced can backfire and produce a worse outcome. Anyone want to re-experience those negative emotions based on a bunch of highly altered memories? "Understanding your past" doesn't necessarily equate to making better choices now, and that, after all, is the end game.

Such a strategy, while well-meaning, can also reinforce a victim mentality - not a great baseline for good decision making going forward. It can increase defensiveness and other socially counterproductive behaviors which can eventually make things worse, not better.

A much better strategy for many is to live in and appreciate the present, look towards the future, and realize the power we have to make choices to make things better - now.

The past is gone. F*#k the past. THAT realization is true power. That may seem like harder cheese at first, but hey, hard cheese keeps longer. Healthy and intimate peer relationships with people who 'get it' - are key to this process. Having a strategy to find and build these relationships, not always easy at times, should be a focus.

Do what works for you, of course. My somewhat limited experience with therapists was neutral results at best, and sharply negative results at times. The efficacy of therapists is very much in doubt in general. What I've found has helped far more was some group time with other folks in similar circumstances.

Anyone who feels 'crazy' might be reminded that 8 out of 10 Americans believes in angels.

Winged supernatural humanoids with magical powers who live forever. Jesus.

Daphne

Trad climber
Northern California
Aug 12, 2014 - 02:27pm PT
^^^you had some very bad therapists

And, it is not true that depression is not correlated with early childhood trauma. In fact we know a lot more about that correlation than we ever did.

Tvash

climber
Seattle
Aug 12, 2014 - 03:02pm PT
One was neutral or slightly helpful, the other was unethical. Nothing too sordid, but I won't go into it here, obviously.

I never stated that depression is not correlated with trauma. The post I responded to claimed it was caused by trauma, and this is not at all accurate. What we know as of today is that about half of it is genetics.

The causes of depression are, as yet, still not well understood. And each individual's case is different. An assumption of trauma - or the existence of trauma and an assumption that it is the root cause of any particular case of depression, is dangerous, in that it can easily lead to the wrong treatment path - skipping over more effective strategies.

My point still stands. Trying to tease out the cause of depression is largely a waste of time and money. It's much more effective to assess the situation today and establish, and I mean on day one, concrete actions that can be taken to mitigate it's effects. There's little compelling evidence, in the aggregate, that talking about Mommy Dearest ad nauseum has proven to be a particularly effective long term strategy at moving forward and actually mitigating depression's effects.

It does tend to burn more therapist hours, however.

This is not a critique of therapy in general. There are excellent therapists out there who do not drag their subjects down this rat hole.

Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Aug 12, 2014 - 03:19pm PT
i like my depression.
it is a tool that i invented
and employ to further my festival.

i realize that for some,
it is a detriment,
but i would move
that many people
do not completely villianize the emotion.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Aug 12, 2014 - 03:22pm PT

Depression is largely genetic.

This is a futile argument! i also read,"depression is caused by genetics".
This comes from the bleachers that says, "Matter invented consciousness"
Government and Big Business dangled this carrot back in the 90's, "depression is a disease" along with addictions like alcoholism. This gave BB and the Pharmaceutical companies the green light to treat humans by the millions like ginny-pigs and dive into their minds with the advertisement of a miracle pill. With Gov confirming it a disease, insurance companies are liable for payment. It's a win-win for business and government, but NOT for the you!!

Genetically, cells are adaptive. They can LEARN. LIke the Brain, the MOST sophisticated learning device in the universe! The body, and it's cells remember this learning. This in a nutshell IS Evolution.

Once you teach your body how to feel depressed, Yea, depression becomes part of your genetic makeup. Over time, the more your brain adds to the feeling of depression, the easier it is for the body to fall in that state.

On the flip-side, Are you Joyful because your genetically inclined to be?
Are the "joyful cells" in your body predetermined? Are you only ever going to be as happy as your DNA sez can be? That's Preposterous!
Inventioneer

Boulder climber
Mountain View, CA
Aug 12, 2014 - 03:25pm PT
Wow, Lost Arrow, wish I had magic words for you. My mom was bipolar and ended her life. I have an Iraq War vet son who is bipolar and chronically suicidal. In my youth in the 1970s I was "situationally" depressed all the time because I wanted to save the world even though the world didn't want to be saved. So I understand and don't understand depression. If it's merely situational then you can think your way out of it or mature your way out of it like I eventually did, but if it's organic I don't know whether or not meds will work for you. I do know this, you can't fool yourself like Robin Williams finally realized. You can't hike your way out of it or climb your way out of it, and I think Yabo proved that. It's a pathetic myth that "mountaineering builds character". I still recall being all alone at high altitude in the most gorgeous remote recesses of the Sierra in my twenties and crying in my tent because I was so depressed, unable to see the beauty all around me. I even tried to off myself with my propane burner by letting it run inside my tent without a flame. I respect your honesty to post an appeal. Maybe it's corny, but at least that's your first move in a positive direction. Hmm, are there depression support groups like AA/NA? I know, sounds depressing to sit around talking about being depressed with depressed people (Robin Williams would have had a blast with that idea) but it's just a thought. Good luck, I hope you find a lasting living way past this.
crankster

Trad climber
Aug 12, 2014 - 03:35pm PT
i like my depression.
it is a tool that i invented
and employ to further my festival.

This does not ring true.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Aug 12, 2014 - 04:04pm PT
do not completely vililanize the emotion.

Naw. Depression is no villain. It's her brother, Anger
Anger is the one that causes life altering events.
i believe depression allows the quietness for the soul to be heard..
It is a direct line to pure raw honesty.
There is no better pill for dispensing depression than Truth!
Truth causes the Sun to shine and the Heart to glow!
consuming mind altering chemicals, is the samething as applying earplugs.
in essence ur stomping your feet saying "No No NO, i don't want to know the truth, I just want to be happy right NOW! For F#cks sake i won't even make it to be 40." Then one day you wake up and ur 50. And more f#cked. like me wuz
PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Aug 12, 2014 - 06:51pm PT
Depression is largely genetic. The idea that it is the result of trauma - the 'you're damaged goods' theory - is dated and, in many cases, counterproductive towards achieving a better outcome.

Are you f*#king kidding me??!?!?!

I wish you and people that ascribe to this BS could sit and watch the people that I see in therapy. So the YEARS of physical and sexual abuse as a child and on into adulthood have NO bearing on a person's emotional well-being?

FACT of the matter is is that most personality disorders and some psychotic disorders are born out of trauma. Do YOU know what it's like to have a gun in your mouth as a child or teenager ready to check out because you cannot escape the war zone that is your house?

Your ignorance is dangerous and is what perpetuates these bullshit myths.
Daphne

Trad climber
Northern California
Aug 12, 2014 - 07:12pm PT
^^^ go Paul!

Ignorance is definitely dangerous.

I sit with depressives of many clinical types in my practice. What they all have in common is negative self-talk. Wonky brain chemistry doesn't allow them to hold onto positive thoughts. It is why medication can be such a miracle-- when the chemistry changes, the possibility of positivity becomes more available.

But it isn't a certainty.

Someone in this thread said they go for any action that could possibly help, and that is really the best way to treat depression. Medication, psychotherapy (good psychotherapy and good psychiatry can be quite hard to find and very expensive, btw), nutrition, exercise, social engagement, community, being of service, spiritual development (whether that's formal religion or connecting with nature, it doesn't matter) acupuncture, dancing, really, all the things that are nourishing are needed to be integrated. And if you are depressed this is going to take time, sometimes a long time. Way more time than those people around you have patience for.

I also want to point out that it seems that Robin WIlliams was being treated for bi-polar disorder, a different animal from simply situational depression, dysthymic depression or even severe clinical depressive disorder. The brain chemistry in this case is balanced on a knife edge.






scrubbing bubbles

Social climber
Uranus
Aug 12, 2014 - 09:12pm PT
Here's to Daphne and Paul Souza, who seem to offer professional advice...kudos to Paul for opening his mailbox to anyone

This thread seems to have struck a nerve
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Aug 12, 2014 - 09:23pm PT
^ Agreed.

I feel sad for those who don't get it, or seemingly don't want to get it. I feel sad for the sadness/pain they cause others with their words. Tragic.

Tvash

climber
Seattle
Aug 12, 2014 - 09:23pm PT
I got my information from Stanford's School of Medicine page on depression, but what do they know?

One thing I look for in a therapist is their propensity for losing their sh#t when their erroneous information is challenged by data.

Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Aug 13, 2014 - 12:16am PT
As a practicing medical physician, I also want to point out that there are a variety of medical problems that can show up as depression (the classic is low thyroid), or that can make depression worse. These things are actually common, and most people who have new onset of depression may benefit from a general medical workup.

In the medical school in which I teach (USC), I frequently point out that the burden of major depression may manifest a whole variety of medical symptoms. One approach that is often taken is to attempt to treat everything simultaneously, which can often result in a pile of pills to be taken.

Personally, I prefer to try to take the edge off only....this often results in a dramatic improvement. I also refer most patient for "talk therapy", which many patients find helpful in a number of ways.

For example, most depressed patients have a coexisting sleep disorder, and the chronic tiredness associated with that would wear anyone down. making that better helps most people, sometimes dramatically.

Stanford's ok. I guess.
colin rowe

Trad climber
scotland uk
Aug 13, 2014 - 02:57am PT
The evidence base for depression suggests Cognitive Behavioural Therapy combined with an anti-depressant. With mild to moderate depression behavioural activation will be used. This is a structured, behavioural approach which encourages goal driven activity despite an individual's current mood: goal driven rather than mood driven behaviour. The idea is to activate pleasurable activity. If climbing is something that once gave you pleasure, begin climbing again, despite your mood suggesting otherwise. Cognitions or thoughts can be considered behaviour too and unhelpful thoughts can be challenged too. There are many self-help books such as Christine Padesky's Mind over Mood that can be of help.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Aug 13, 2014 - 03:11am PT
I think about Juan occasionally, and the other people known to have lost their struggle with the black dog. I wrote Juan several emails when he was expressing his struggles on this thread. I don't know if he ever read them or got them. He never responded. I think of him and his desperation often.

I keep fighting, it keeps fighting and only time will tell who will finally overcome. It may end up being a draw.

There are a lot of opinions expressed here, some by professionals who treat depression by teaching coping skills and/or prescribing medicine to offset the disease or both. There are other opinions of speculation about the disease and some of those seem totally senseless.

As I stated up thread, I have been wrestling with this disease since I was born. Some of my earliest memories are dark. I can remember feeling all alone in a family of 9, in a kindergarten class of 25, in my bed late at night with two of my brothers sleeping beside me.

I have been categorized as having Borderline Personality Disorder (I interpret that as bordering on having a personality because of my extreme low self-esteem, total lack of self confidence and social grace). I also have three types of anxiety disorders, the Generalized Anxiety, Panic and Social types.

There seems to be two causative factors that allow the black dog to control my mind. Sometimes I wake up with him controlling my mind and then there are circumstances that seem to trigger his attack. I have been learning methods of resisting the latter of these two causes and have had some success.

The former, there is no control. It just happens. I have no more control over these attacks than I do the weather. I try to fight back, to get out of bed and exercise, work or engage other people; but it never works. I finally give up and just ride it out. It may last a day, other times a week or so.

In the past I was treated for Bipolar; but that was a long time ago, some 36 years, (when it was labeled manic depression). I never thought much of that because I rarely hit the manic stage that is common to people who suffer this disorder.

The TMS treatment I underwent helped tremendously in some ways; but not so much in other ways. Again there is no magic cure.
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=2220943&msg=2220943#msg2220943

I have had one booster round since the initial program; but I can't afford another round and am not sure if I would benefit.

In the last 3 months I have had serious lows, the extreme ones where I contemplate death as the only solution. The pain is just overbearing, there is no hope and my Christian faith seems to wain. The only thing that stops me from following through are my two dogs and deciding how to do it. I also pray that the pain will end and it usually does; although during these episodes, I don't have any memory of not suffering the crippling effects, happiness is neither remembered and unimaginable.

Physical pain bears no resemblance to mental pain. I can and do endure physical pain, and in some veins I thrive on it; as in endurance sports. Mental pain has no bounds, no threshold and seemingly has the ability to cripple all other strengths. This is especially pertinent when considering that there seems no underlying cause of the anguish; such as the loss of a loved one, financial distress, a broken romance or any kind of assorted disappointments that are experienced in life.

My therapist discontinued my treatments because she had left the hospital where I started cognitive therapy with her. She left due to the corporate setting of a mental hospital to set up shop in a smaller group where she was less restricted. I was seeing her there; but she said that she was recommending me to another group because my suicidal tendencies worried her and caused her anxiety. The anxiety was her fear that I might follow through with my obsession with death and that she would feel responsible (not liable) and because she no longer worked in a hospital setting where she could get immediate feedback from the M.D.'s and other staff, she was not comfortable treating me.

That was a serious blow to my recovery, I had grown very comfortable expressing my thoughts, problems and fears to her. I felt like I was being abandoned, given up on. I felt just like I did when my wife left in the middle of the night, because, I believe she could not deal with the dog.

The fact of the matter is that her concerns were real. I have since met with her and she explained her concerns and the foundations of her decision. At the time of that visit, I was not depressed and it made sense to me. I felt guilty for causing her that much anguish.

I haven't started therapy with the recommended group she provided as I have a history with them. I spent about 5 years in the'90s with a therapist there, 2-3 times a week. They now charge $165/hour. They won't settle for the 80% medicare pays. So it is a useless proposition.

I don't think I will start over again, as it is very difficult to establish a level of trust with a therapist.

I have been "up" for four weeks now. I have riding my bike, socializing a little and taking care of the business of life, such as addressing financial problems, maintaining my property and dealing with issues that usually get brushed aside. It is hard to imagine what the black dog days or like when I feel this way.

The trouble with being up is I know I will sooner or late wake up with the dog on my back. It is inevitable; as involuntary as my heartbeat.

I take medicine for anxiety and a low voltage sleeping aid. I get 5 hours of sleep instead of two now. That in itself if is makes life worth living. Sleep is necessary to feel human.

Here is a link to a short video that someone emailed me today, because I have been using the term "black dog" every since I read that Winston Churchill used it to describe his struggle with depression.

It doesn't express the exact magnitude of my struggle, nor some other factors; but I believe it will show people who don't understand depression or feel like they are alone in their struggle the realities.

I don't think I will ever be cured, and I pray (today) that he never wins. When he is on me, I pray for death. I don't run away from it, I just grow weary of the struggle. Obviously part of my own therapy is write or talk about it, not just for my benefit; but for others who don't know the dog is on their heels.

One last thing, for the non-believers or people who are not Christian or a follower of some other faith, you are jeopardizing someone's hope that they can cope with this disease. Keep the negative vibes to yourself, what do you gain by discouraging someone from believing when they are struggling with surviving? In essence you are contributing to their demise. I was an atheist until I had given up all hope and had my 9mm at my temple, trying to find a reason not to off myself, the pain was too much to bear. If it wasn't for divine intervention I would be dead. You don't have to accept that as real; but I do because I experienced it. It is faith that props me up. So please don't present arguments about someone's personal believe when the topic of depression is at hand. Save it for another thread.

Well enough, I didn't set out to write as much as I did, I just wanted to post the video.

http://www.upworthy.com/what-is-depression-let-this-animation-with-a-dog-shed-light-on-it?c=ufb4

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
Aug 13, 2014 - 03:44am PT
I think of Jeff Batten often as well. I never called him friend, though I should have.

I didn't see it coming. I didn't understand.

There was nothing I could have done, likely. Not that kind of relationship. He was a troll after all and like all trolls when he tried to be serious, when he tried to drop the veil and be himself?

He was rejected. Because of his own past.

I miss him.

I won't lash out toward the less than sensitive to who mock or denigrate such folk.

DMT
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Aug 13, 2014 - 04:02am PT
thanks for sharing, Tobia
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
Aug 13, 2014 - 05:53am PT
Tobia thank you for sharing. Heavy stuff. I can't imagine what you're going through man. I hope you find the strength and courage to face today knowing that people around you need you and want you to enjoy today for what it is, a new day. Sometimes its one day at a time man.
I thought this thread could use some photos.  Looking south into Tuolu...
I thought this thread could use some photos. Looking south into Tuolumne Country on the approach to Conness.
Credit: micronut
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Aug 13, 2014 - 07:38am PT
Tobia. Wow. Thanks man.

I've suffered from depression for most of my life too. I was going to write this post this sping on my recovery thread but I never got around to it. Depression is a tough thing to write about. You don't even want to think about it when you're up and actually feel like being productive...


As a kid i experienced a lot of teasing and bullying, thanks to my size, as well as joining a tight knit group of kids who had been together since kindergarten in a small community that i had just moved to. I was never really accepted by them and was teased constantly. I ended up in the principal's office regularily for fighting back.

I thought often about killing myself often during all this, and it was always tough to find happiness. Most of my classmates who i did end up making friends with would always seem like they didn't want to be seen with me when the cool kids were around...

By grade six i had developed a pretty tough shell, and had learned to not care about others bullshit opinons... I became a loner pretty much, except for my best friend who had moved to my home town that year. He was a god send. I honestly don't know if i could have turned my life around without his compainonship.

Junior high got easier, as i devolped my shell more and more. By high school i simply didn't give a fvck about anyone else's opinion. I found snowboarding, my first real love. This gave me much joy.

Moving to Whistler was probably the best thing i could have done for my mental state after high school. Meeting new people with no pre concieved idea of who i was and making friends who actually seemed like they had my back. Riding a 100+ days a season and partying all the time, kept me distracted from my mental issues, but i would have lows during summers before i discovered mountain biking. The lows weren't as low anymore though, i don't remember any time during my twenties or early thirties where i actaully thought about pulling the trigger.

Then I broke my back. I knew from past experience that i simply could not let myself slide down that road. My counsellor, physios, nurses, and doctors, kept me going physically and emotionally and progress, and my friends and family plus all the great people who took the time to talk to me on my recovery thread really boosted my spirits. I know i walked out of Gf Strong because of this support, so thanks again supertopo for that!!!

When i got home though.. It was a different story... Life beat me down. Bigtime. I tried to remain postive but the false reality was cracking at the seams. I could not function as i used to and everything was now harder. I worked with a friend of sandra's who is a physical trainer at meadow park, which helped a lot. She got me motivated to get to the gym and train to get my body stronger. Then she hurt herself and couldn't train with me for awhile, and i crashed hard this time.

I sat at home all day, while the boys went to work. I was barely able to bring myself to do the required admin stuff to keep my business running. I smoked way too much and this fed into my apathy. I started to entertain thoughts of suicide again. What kept me from them was knowing how sad all my friends and family and the not wanting to disapoint the kind people at supertopo after all the supoort they had given.

Sandra tried to get me to see a shrink but i just never got there. I've always been suspect about them.. I know it could help but i'm pretty damn stubborn sometimes.

Finally one of my employees called me out on it and said "just come to work." "You need to get out of the house and you'll feel better." So i did. At first it really sucked, but then i did start to feel better and day to day stuff was easier.

Then we went to Yosemite for facelift, which was fun, but also annoying cause Sandra was sick and stressted to the max the whole time and i was limited in what i could actually accomplish and still dealing with a lot of pain issues. When i got home i kind slipped into a lull again. Not as bad as before, and when i started snowboarding again that helped a bit.

I no longer entertained thoughts of death but it was hard for me to get motivated to get up in the morning or if i did get out of bed, leave the general vicinity of my couch. Once again smoking just perpetuated the cycle. a couple things happened that helped break this spell. First, Tricouni called out of the blue to see how i was doing. That was definitely a shot in the arm as i've always enjoyed talking to glenn. We talked a bit about my depression and he told me to keep me chin up. Then chuck started bugging me about the nose, and i realized i had better get training if i was going to have a decent shot at that goal.

So i booked my personal trainer again for a month and got off my ass and got stronger. Then i went to Yosemite and met Chuck. After hanging out together and having lots of fun in the valley my brain had clicked. I never noticed when it happened but i've been stoked ever since.

I've had my ups and downs for sure, but never that low, don't care feeling i had all last winter.

I feel very lucky that my depression doesn't seem as severe as Juan's was, or Tobia's is. It's still there though, and i still have to deal with it. Luckily i've figured out some coping measures..
SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, or In What Time Zone Am I?
Aug 13, 2014 - 09:28am PT
Oh my. Mike and Tobia I feel as if the wind has been knocked out of me.
Thank you for still being here.

Susan
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Aug 13, 2014 - 10:45am PT
"The evidence base for depression suggests Cognitive Behavioural Therapy combined with an anti-depressant. With mild to moderate depression behavioural activation will be used. This is a structured, behavioural approach which encourages goal driven activity despite an individual's current mood: goal driven rather than mood driven behaviour. The idea is to activate pleasurable activity. If climbing is something that once gave you pleasure, begin climbing again, despite your mood suggesting otherwise. Cognitions or thoughts can be considered behaviour too and unhelpful thoughts can be challenged too. There are many self-help books such as Christine Padesky's Mind over Mood that can be of help."

Yup. Best post yet. This is what has worked best for myself and several friends - most of whom suffered little to no childhood trauma.

Healthy lifestyle assumed as a baseline, of course.

Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
Aug 13, 2014 - 11:07am PT
Ken M hit the nail on the head when her wrote, ".... most depressed patients have a coexisting sleep disorder, and the chronic tiredness associated with that would wear anyone down".

I'd been enjoying Ambien and when it started to no longer give me good REM sleep- when I started waking at 4 AM to the anxiety, I went south. Insomnia weakened my immune system, I got whooping cough and then all the other stress factors (marriage, fam, biz) avalanched in.

I did spend a lot of Sunday mornings at church (which I had never done B4). Probably would have been better off mt biking in the high country, but when you can barely climb outta bed, church is easier...
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Aug 13, 2014 - 12:22pm PT
I got my information from Stanford's School of Medicine page on depression, but what do they know?

When your main tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. I have a deep and abiding respect for science, engineering, and all things analytical. But we must also have humility to recognize how primitive we are in our development in some areas, and be careful that our guiding value of the scientific method does not transcend into a blind faith in our current level of scientific knowledge as the cure for all of our ills, or blind faith in the brand of an academic institution that is driven by a variety of agendas.

Tvash

climber
Seattle
Aug 13, 2014 - 12:48pm PT
My assertions also come from copious personal experience - friends included. I fail to see how Stanford's statistics with regards to the what is known about the fundamental causes of depression constitute an agenda, but YMMV.

My objective was a narrow one - to refute the aforementioned inaccurate assertion that depression is caused solely by trauma. Both the data and my personal experience show that it clearly is not. Like so many other afflictions, there is a strong genetic component.

I just had lunch with a friend who suffers from periodic depression yesterday. She had a wonderful childhood and no major trauma in her adult life, either.

Why this is controversial at all is beyond me.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Aug 13, 2014 - 06:15pm PT
I appreciate all the encouragement. Big Mike, we have a lot of common. I was treated differently at school because of being ADD; which didn't have a name back then. Too me it was all fun, at least on the surface because I kept everyone entertained and the teachers didn't have a clue as to what do with me, of course it wasn't so much when being disciplined for grades or behavior. Especially when I got home. My father was an "A" student his whole life and entered college when he was 15. He had little patience with my shenanigans.

I doubt there are 2 cases of depression that are the same. I believe I know as much from experience, self-education and the trials and error approach to medication as the psychiatrist I see now. That might not be an accurate statement nor realistic; but it is a very educated guess. He will suggest medicines and I will veto; because I have tried them in the past. I pretty much have the meds narrowed down. I know medicine simply does not work on me, other than Xanax (any medication that works by causing temporary amnesia would be effective on an elephant).

Twash, I agree about the genetics, as well as the sleep factor. As well as the trauma. I suffered social trauma as reactions to my depression; but trauma was not a cause. It is an inherent trait that I recall being or feeling different in my earliest memories. That isn't to say that trauma won't cause depressive illness.

The TMS treatment increased my nightly sleep from 1-2 hours to 4-5. After years of sleeping only a couple of hours, 4 or 5 seem like a vacation. Sleep is a wonderful thing. I do take a med to help insure sleep, Doxepin; which seems to have zero side effects. And the doc suggested that one.
Depression is very much a part of my genetic code, mostly in the Sicilian strands. It does seem that certain members of family are more susceptible than others. I happen to be the one in my immediate family that suffers from it the most. My father showed signs of it, as does my sister; but on a whole different level. I have no idea why they have inherit coping skills that I wasn't blessed with. But then again I have skills that they don't.

Endurance exercises (running, cycling and swimming) have always been the mainstays of beating back the dog. That was fine and dandy until I lost the ability to run with back problems. I thought pain meds were the greatest anti-depressants there were for a short period. It didn't take long to figure out how that works. Lucky for me, I don't have the addiction gene.

I started to run again and that was a great booster. I have had to convert to cycling now because my knees are gone; but it doesn't matter.

It is easy too write about this stuff when I am not in the doldrums, It is meaningless when I the dog is around. I write in hopes that other people will not feel alone if they suffer this affliction.

I also write to defend those who take the desperate final step and read or hear criticism from their family, spouses or friends. People don't take their lives without feeling pain for those they leave behind. It isn't as selfish act as so many people see it. In some cases the people they leave behind are the reasons they give up; not because they don't care about them, just the opposite.

I compare suicide to the actions some people take when pinned under a large and heavy machine and are all alone. They pull out a pocket life and sever the limb, believing this is the only way out the situation. And that is exactly what most suicides are, the only means of ending a very painful situation (life). They severe the limb. I can't think of any more drastic. Free soloing is one extreme; but they don't do it with the intention of dying.

That is not to say I recommend it. I hope and pray my life doesn't end that way. Or anyone I know and don't know. But for those that have come to end by their own hands, I beg you to believe they didn't do it out of selfishness or cowardliness.

So as many have said in this thread and other threads that deal with this topic, seek help, even if it is from a Labrador. Fight the good fight, until you can't. Just make sure you always can. This is easy for me to say right now because the evil dog is no where near.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Aug 13, 2014 - 06:33pm PT
Tobia- I hear ya. Feel free to drop me a line whenever. Thanks for putting my problems in perspective.. Lol fight the good fight brother.
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Aug 13, 2014 - 06:38pm PT
Interesting, that as long as I've had dog's of my own, they've all been black.
Something about The Black Dog.


Solace to you all.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Aug 13, 2014 - 06:42pm PT
Mr. Jefe, I have had a lifetime of black labs (the loving, swimming kind).
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Aug 13, 2014 - 07:19pm PT
Ken M, you seem like a good person to ask, how much of depression is caused by genetics? Has science(doctors) taken samples from newborns and found that some are born with a genetic make up to have depression?

It could be obvious to conclude that after a baby was born, if it didn't receive love and attention it would grow depressed within months.

But how would an unborn build up this chemical imbalance(which are we sure of, that the chemical imbalance causes depression, OR depression causes the imbalance?) that shows depression before it is able to breathe?
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Aug 13, 2014 - 09:42pm PT
hey there say, tobia... nice to hear from you...

say, to those suffering through depression...

hang on to this thought:

you are precious... we are all precious in our unique ways, no matter how 'not fit to any mold' we may feel that we are...

if you are 'boxed up' now... try to think of this:

you are a special gift in the world, your TIME for use,
being opened and out in the world, may
be 'sporadic' seeming, to you... but like all precious gifts,
when not in use--

you are just on the shelf, hard, dark, and lonely, yes,
or for some, a struggle-in-the-tissue, to rest and re-gather stamina,
until you are brought forth,
for the good days that you DO get--

days, when you are thus
OPENED and out there to make others feel loved, wanted, happy, cared for,
to teach them, to share your journey, or your pains, so you-and-them might grow, sort things out,or, for whatever reasons
MAY UNFOLD, at these such times...


you may slip back, into the box, and be hidden on the shelf, for who
knows how long--as you strive to recover, or hunker down, to wait it out,
or work with docs, or therapist, BUT KNOW THIS:

HANG IN THERE--your time WILL COME, little by little to be
OPENED and be a gift that is USED more often...

a gift, that lets itself fall and be broken and gone, will
never shine and be what it was MADE for...do not fall and break,
you are soooo so so very unique and special!!!!

we all know how folks LOVE gifts of all kinds and when special surprise
gifts APPEAR, even if for a bit, they are treasured as such!!!!
and for you, this gift, to be free to always be among 'those that love you'
this is a wonderful, though perhaps LONG term goal, but life
moves to goals, surely as TIME moves on... season DO change...

john's story, can encourage you that it is possible...
same as big mike...
and many of the others that posted here...
edit: say, sewellymon, too, thank you for sharing your story...

yes:
you are on the shelf, but NOT unwanted ...
you ARE a gift, but your time of use-and-shining, comes in seasonal spurts... hang on to that thought...


and, also, as to long range hope:
there is always 'movement-of-time' , flowing onward, for being unboxed, and being a constant gift, and who knows:

YOU JUST MAY BE the very GIFT to get other 'precious boxed gifts'
off their shelf, more often, or even for the long haul...



we are all rooting, cheering, or praying for you all!

my small story:
without god's help, i would have stayed on a shelf for a long time,
at one bad point, in my marriage, when i lived with a
'near impossible' situation...
i understood the shelf, though praying, and with god's strength
in my heart, thus, i 'waited for the special days'...

mine came... may yours come, too...
god bless, love, and prayers to you all...
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Aug 13, 2014 - 11:27pm PT
Ken M, you seem like a good person to ask, how much of depression is caused by genetics? Has science(doctors) taken samples from newborns and found that some are born with a genetic make up to have depression?

**It could be obvious to conclude that after a baby was born, if it didn't receive love and attention it would grow depressed within months.
**
But how would an unborn build up this chemical imbalance(which are we sure of, that the chemical imbalance causes depression, OR depression causes the imbalance?) that shows depression before it is able to breathe?

My background in genetics is probably more helpful than being a doctor, in terms of answering your question. I will say that there seems to be a strong genetic ASSOCIATION. But it is not simple. I don't believe that specific gene sites have yet been identified, and it is very likely that there a quite a few involved.

What may be the case is that if there are the right genetic switches thrown, one has the POTENTIAL to develop depression.....but it may or may not happen. This appears to be the case with Adult-Onset Diabetes. We all know that obesity is associated with that development---but not all obese people get it, you have to have the genetic potential, apparently.

None of this has any practical application at present, because we do not have the ability to alter the genetics at present.

The issue of lack of love/attention for babies is fascinating. It seems true that what happens is not what we might describe as depression (although how do you interview an infant?), but rather a whole variety of mental disorders that have lasting impacts.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Aug 14, 2014 - 12:22am PT
That's Great Ken , Thanks

i was mostly wondering how deep into our boldly functioning does depression go. All the way to DNA, or is it in the cells?
Can it be handed down from our parents, is what i'm really asking?

Locker's link was very informative on the mechanics, but i didn't see anything about Genetics.




Nice Neebee!
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Aug 14, 2014 - 10:38am PT
Can it be handed down from our parents, is what i'm really asking?

It very commonly runs in families which strongly suggests that it can be genetic. However, clearly not always.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Aug 15, 2014 - 04:35pm PT
Bump because this thread deserves to be seen.
skitch

climber
East of Heaven
Sep 17, 2014 - 04:42pm PT
So my wife convinced me to see a therapist, the therapist thinks that I need to try drugs, recommended Welbutrin.

I've never tried antidepressants, but my dad started taking celexa a few years ago and says that it helped him. My cousin tried taking something a few years back, said it made him even more suicidal.

Anyone tried welbutrin? the side effects don't sound horrible. . .
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 17, 2014 - 04:56pm PT
I think of Jeff Batten often as well. I never called him friend, though I should have.

I didn't see it coming. I didn't understand.

There was nothing I could have done, likely. Not that kind of relationship. He was a troll after all and like all trolls when he tried to be serious, when he tried to drop the veil and be himself?

He was rejected. Because of his own past.

Dingus, it still bothers me, too. I was lucky enough to climb with Jeff on a couple of occasions. He didn't seem depressed, he was happy-go-lucky. We talked about usenet agents and UCLA coeds.

When he started posting about depression, I figured it was just another troll, same as you. Even saw him at Stony Point about that time. We just exchanged some pleasantries that day, but he was smiling and cruising around to boulders.

I even thought the suicide was a troll, until I asked a fellow I know who taught at CSUN.

Not sure what any of us could have done, but I wished I'd reached out to him a bit more.

He was a good man to rope up with.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Sep 17, 2014 - 05:03pm PT
Tough thread.

I have two really good friends who struggle with the blackness at all times.

What should I suggest?? Sh#t,....
John M

climber
Sep 17, 2014 - 05:32pm PT
Anyone tried welbutrin? the side effects don't sound horrible. . .

I have.. I'm probably not the best person to ask as I have difficulties taking anti depressants.
(understatement)

My background

lifetime dealing with depression

tried anti depressants for over 8 years. Tried over 30 different anti depressants. only a couple helped me for a short period of time. Most gave me debilitating side effects.

On the other hand, it appears many people have success with them. JohnE on this forum has told his success story a number of times here.

My point is that everyone is different and reacts differently to these kinds of meds. If I were you and I didn't have a history of difficulties taking prescription meds, then I would probably try it, though I would want a good doc overseeing things. Not just a family doc seeing you every 6 weeks. But someone seeing you at least once a week until you determine if its going to work for you. If you have decent medical insurance, then I would see a psychiatrist, though let me warn you, they can be some of the weirdest people on the planet. Many of them have their own social/psychosis. But then to study in depth the interplay of meds on the brain and the mind, you have to be something of a nerd.

I hope that helps.
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Sep 17, 2014 - 08:35pm PT
Tough thread.

I have two really good friends who struggle with the blackness at all times.

What should I suggest?? Sh#t,....


Be a friend.

Listen.

Tell your friends that you love them. That them many people love them.

survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Sep 17, 2014 - 08:39pm PT
Thanks man, that's what I shoot for.
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Sep 17, 2014 - 08:51pm PT
Sometimes the darkness is too strong for some people.

That's a tough thing for most to accept.

I always try to remember that we are all going to die some day. Every single one of us. Dead.


That is why we should enjoy life as long as we are able.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Sep 17, 2014 - 08:59pm PT
I have two really good friends who struggle with the blackness at all times. What should I suggest?? Sh#t,....

There is no answer to that question Bruce. Or maybe there are as many answers as there are depressed friends. What helps one might make things worse for another.

Albertross pretty much summed it up -- make sure they know you love them.
moosedrool

climber
lost, far away from Poland
Sep 17, 2014 - 09:22pm PT
how deep into our boldly functioning does depression go. All the way to DNA, or is it in the cells?


Blue, It does modify your gene expression. So yes, it does go all the way to DNA. It is a bit technical, but it won't change your genetic makeup. Only how your genes are expressed.

The proteins in your body play thousands different roles. Some of them are responsible for controlling neurotransmitters, i.e. serotonin and dopamine, which play a major role in depression. All proteins are produced according to your DNA makeup, but the amounts produced can vary, depending on the body's needs. Depression or substance abuse would change that protein production. Some of those changes can be permanent when the DNA gets effected.

Moose
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Sep 17, 2014 - 09:46pm PT
Sandra takes Welbutrin. It seems to help her, although since she's been on it so long, her psyc recently perscribed another drug as a booster. Trick seems to be, see how you do on it and decide for yourself.

I've managed to stay away from anti-depressants so far..
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 17, 2014 - 11:12pm PT
Thanks Mooseman!

Depression or substance abuse would change that protein production. Some of those changes can be permanent when the DNA gets effected.

Back then i was trying to imagine how we pass down "traits" to our offspring. The obvious being in the body's structure, the things we can see. My daughter looks just like her mom.(but she's smart like me)! Those are the obvious physical traits. Lately i've been hearing addictions like, alcohol, drug, etc. can be "passed down"? And even depression. Which lead me to wonder if they are genetically(in the "meat) carried along, or are they passed down by a social environment when growing up?

Then try and diagnose to find a preventative..
Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
Sep 18, 2014 - 12:10am PT
Skitch.. Wellbutrin was a life saver. Made all the difference. PM me....
skitch

climber
East of Heaven
Sep 18, 2014 - 09:51am PT
My biggest issues, and I'm just guessing that they are depression related since my dad seemed to be the same way before taking meds, are a constant feeling of aggravation, super pessimistic, and I get zero joy out of life.

Ever stand in line and have somebody "accidentally" cut in front of you, does that make a small volcano blow up inside of you??? I feel like their is boiling pot of lava in my chest just waiting for the slightest inconvenience to make it explode, all the time.

I cannot, for the life of me, find any good in anything. All I can do is see the negative aspect of everything. I went bouldering with some people I know last night, all I can think is "how can they be so goddamn happy".

I can't keep friends because it's sooo hard, and fake feeling, to be positive. When I talk all that pours out is negative comments about life, myself, etc.

I have been climbing relatively well compared to my past, but whenever I finish a climb all I can think about is the 1 mistake I made on the climb. If I send it "perfectly" all I can think is I should have tried something harder.

I feel like I am just another of a million evolutionary experiments that went wrong.

Hopefully drugs and therapy work, otherwise my wife is stuck with a piece of sh#t that only wants to drag everyone else that comes into contact with me down to my sick little sh#t-filled pit.
moosedrool

climber
lost, far away from Poland
Sep 18, 2014 - 10:03am PT
Blue, those traits are passed on the offspring. If it is due to the DNA mutation, it is pretty permanent. If it is an acquired trait, the modifications to the gene expression can be reversed over generations.

Moose

P.S. If depressed, seek help. The drugs combined with psychotherapy work!

skitch

climber
East of Heaven
Sep 18, 2014 - 10:13am PT
I've definitely thought about smoking weed, I've tried in the past and it seemed to make a difference while I was stoned, but as soon as it's gone I'm back to the same pit'o'despair feeling that I normally feel. Can't see getting any work done while I'm stoned, seems to get me lost in my thoughts. . .
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Sep 18, 2014 - 10:13am PT
Multi-generational trauma is why depression runs in families. I know that medical dogma runs: DNA-RNA-Protein, but it's more like Bruce Lipton insists, DNA plus environment, environment, environment. If you just take anti-depressants without dealing with the underlying psychological and environmental causes behind your depression, it's just going find some other way of expressing itself. I think the psychologists call the phenomenon, symptom substitution.
locker

climber
STFU n00b!!!
Sep 18, 2014 - 10:18am PT


Depression can be devastating...

...
John M

climber
Sep 18, 2014 - 10:49am PT
Skitch.

There are lots of various possibilities. This is just my understand based on my own life experience. I am not a trained professional.

The possibilities involve our thinking patterns, our genetics, and what habits we developed based on our life experiences, plus a few other things.

A professional can help you sort this out.

Sometimes just our life experiences and our thinking patterns can lead to the inability for our body to make the proper balance of hormones for us to be able to feel okay. Other times genetics plays a role.

A very simplified example of how our life experiences and thinking patterns can sabotage us is..

We have some bad experiences. say we lose our job and we have some health problems. Please remember that this is very simplified. We then start thinking things like.. I will never get better. I will never get a new job. Life is too hard. etc.. That then possibly leads us to not taking proper care of ourselves. Maybe we overindulge in recreational drugs such as booze. Or we don't eat properly, or we don't get regular exercise. All of these things can inhibit ones body from creating the proper balance of hormones. Once that happens, then it becomes more and more difficult to feel okay or even good. The inability to feel good even when we are doing something we normally enjoy, then exasperates the whole situation, which then magnifies the downward cycle.

For some people you can toss in genetics. Perhaps they just normally only produce a low level of certain necessary hormones and once they get into the above cycle, it just snowballs.

Either way… what can help to break these kinds of cycles is therapy to identify what thought process are sabotaging oneself, what tools one could use to break these cycles, and when and how to use them. Books can help you understand this, but a really good therapist can help you cut through the bullshit and identify why you specifically have going on.

Toss on top of that the possibility that meds can help you break these kinds of cycles and my best suggestion to you would be to go see someone trained in these kinds of things.


JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Sep 18, 2014 - 11:03am PT
Multi-generational trauma is why depression runs in families. I know that medical dogma runs: DNA-RNA-Protein, but it's more like Bruce Lipton insists, DNA plus environment, environment, environment. If you just take anti-depressants without dealing with the underlying psychological and environmental causes behind your depression, it's just going find some other way of expressing itself. I think the psychologists call the phenomenon, symptom substitution.

I suspect this is often true, but not always. In my case, the depression was endogenous. In other words, the depression came first. Only then did I have issues I needed to resolve. First, I needed medication. Then I needed psychological advice to deal with the issues caused when my depression made me unable to function normally.

I think depression confuses us because it differs from, say, appendicitis. The latter we recognize as always being a medical condition, requiring medical intervention. Depression symptoms may or may not result from a medical condition requiring medical intervention. Most importantly, few people suffering from depression have the ability to self-diagnose, although they often unintentionally self-medicate.

John M gives the best advice: seek professional help. They really can change your life for the better.

John
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Sep 18, 2014 - 11:07am PT
Agreed dr f.

Skitch. Sounds like you're in a rut. Happens sometimes for sure. There is no cure all, but trying different methods and finding a solution that works for you is the answer. You've accomplished the first step by admitting that it's an issue.

Weed works, but when i'm really down it makes me lazy too so sometimes it's not the answer. Realizing you don't want or have to feel that way and taking steps to combat the issue will go a long way to restoring your happiness.

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Sep 18, 2014 - 11:19am PT
skitch, just posting what you probably already have in mind, so it's just for reinforcement sake... consider a very many strategy approach (cf: one-strategy approach) as part of your playbook for this thing.

Have you tried meditation? You probably already have. btw, Sam Harris has a new book out just this week on this very thing regarding meditation, restless mind, discursive unwanted thinking (leading to uber worry, etc.) and secular spirituality without religion.

Good luck.

"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough."


EDIT I see others have pretty much said much the same thing. Poignant post. Best of luck.
Shiho

Trad climber
Salt Lake City
Sep 18, 2014 - 01:29pm PT
I have a friend who is really depressed. I tell him that I care about him but he doesn't believe that others understand him hence he doesn't trust those who care. I call him but he never returns my calls. If he didn't live 2000 miles away from me, I'd visit him to show that I truly mean it when I say that I care. I've asked him what I could do to help him and he told me that he needed to fight his depression by himself. But really, what should and can I do to help him? Can anybody give me suggestions?
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Sep 18, 2014 - 02:22pm PT


LIFE .. .,.,,
Summer Time come and gone

This has been such a
Passionate year filled with very high highs and very low lows ....
Reach out sisters and brothers
We are all here for our selves and one another


skitch

climber
East of Heaven
Sep 18, 2014 - 03:17pm PT
Shiho,

Not sure what you can do, I know for me any time someone says anything nice to me I instantly think they are trying to get something out of me.

Does your friend work? He must have some form of insurance. My wife set up the appointment for me to see a therapist. not sure if theres a way for you to do that, maybe in conjunction with your friends family???
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Sep 18, 2014 - 03:25pm PT
But really, what should and can I do to help him? Can anybody give me suggestions?

Just let the person know that you don't know what they're feeling or going through, but that you care about them and you are there to provide whatever help you can if and when the person wants it. Tell them it would make you feel good to be helpful to them, but if they just need to deal with it on their own, that's fine and you'll be there when they're ready.

I can't say that's a clinically approved answer, but it feels real and honest to me.
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Sep 18, 2014 - 04:50pm PT
Some things I share with friends and loved ones when they are depressed (and even happy):

text
email
dig up an old photo and email it
dig up an old email and resend it
write an old fashioned USPS letter
write up some crazy story about an adventure
telephone
visit
listen
hug


I like what someone posted about how climbing can burn us out. Sort of like doing too much meth. All those adrenaline peaks might be doing something to us.



neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Sep 18, 2014 - 06:31pm PT
hey there say, had not been able to get to all these threads/post, lately, ... it's been 'catch up month' since my daddy died...

say, as to this, posted by john m:

Sep 18, 2014 - 10:49am PT
Skitch.

There are lots of various possibilities. This is just my understand based on my own life experience. I am not a trained professional.

The possibilities involve our thinking patterns, our genetics, and what habits we developed based on our life experiences, plus a few other things.

A professional can help you sort this out.

Sometimes just our life experiences and our thinking patterns can lead to the inability for our body to make the proper balance of hormones for us to be able to feel okay. Other times genetics plays a role.

A very simplified example of how our life experiences and thinking patterns can sabotage us is..

We have some bad experiences. say we lose our job and we have some health problems. Please remember that this is very simplified. We then start thinking things like.. I will never get better. I will never get a new job. Life is too hard. etc.. That then possibly leads us to not taking proper care of ourselves. Maybe we overindulge in recreational drugs such as booze. Or we don't eat properly, or we don't get regular exercise. All of these things can inhibit ones body from creating the proper balance of hormones. Once that happens, then it becomes more and more difficult to feel okay or even good. The inability to feel good even when we are doing something we normally enjoy, then exasperates the whole situation, which then magnifies the downward cycle.

For some people you can toss in genetics. Perhaps they just normally only produce a low level of certain necessary hormones and once they get into the above cycle, it just snowballs.

Either way… what can help to break these kinds of cycles is therapy to identify what thought process are sabotaging oneself, what tools one could use to break these cycles, and when and how to use them. Books can help you understand this, but a really good therapist can help you cut through the bullshit and identify why you specifically have going on.

Toss on top of that the possibility that meds can help you break these kinds of cycles and my best suggestion to you would be to go see someone trained in these kinds of things.

BEARS good, to see it again and read it... very good things in here...

and i've seen just the last few posts, as well... will go back and read...



whatever the reason for depression, i have found:
communication and stimulation to want to do-and-be-alive, is very important...

without these, the will to live, can slowly disinticrate (sorry, spelling) before one even knows it, and it is far to easy for the 'poof' and be gone, to be the next desire, :(

i have a handful of friends, that have gone through this and some, reached solid ground (though they look out for signs, of being susceptible again) and some that still live with it 'NEAR THE DOOR' however...

the huge anchor and improvident for them (as individual, as they are) as been this:

1--being shown that they are really wanted... and just for being them...
2--done by communication, even daily phone calls...
3--cards and letters, stimulation of hope... and assured love/acceptance///
4--therapy, a solid always there for a certain day, feed-back person
that KNOWs HOW THINGS have been fareing in their life...
(sometimes, due to life, the usually support may be busy on a crucial day, but the 'backup' set day, keeps a 'safety hold' before ones eyes...
5--creating a habit to write done feelings, thoughts, or fears, at least it can begin to give a 'picture' of the otherwise 'invisible' factors going on, in the mind or spirit...
6--REAL company, real visits... even a real walk, or out to eat... trouble is though--hours, later, one can have a 'down time' getting to think on the emptiness, once the stimulation is gone--thus, a good AFTERWARDS, phone call, a few hours later, and coaching as to future 'something to do' and keep that promise is a GREAT HELP...

edit: these above numbers, are things that ALL humanfolks need!!

WHEN depression is really bad, or even just starting, folks can feel as if 'on the outside of life' just looking in through the window as something they want, but just can't seem to get or recover... it seems there is no 'opening' to step into that 'realm of life' ...


well, i will go back and see if this advice is for someone HERE now, in need, or for one of them to HELP a friend...


prayers, too... keep praying...
the main prayer?
pray that key folks, will be nearby and onhand, to prevent worse
situations of this depression, or loss of a precious life....

and then, keep praying for open doors to learn why, or what, can
help in the next-step-up, ways, as to keep depression gone, once
someone gets a handle on it...


neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Sep 18, 2014 - 06:57pm PT
hey there, say, okay... just went back and saw more here...

say, skitch:

as to this:
My biggest issues, and I'm just guessing that they are depression related since my dad seemed to be the same way before taking meds, are a constant feeling of aggravation, super pessimistic, and I get zero joy out of life.

Ever stand in line and have somebody "accidentally" cut in front of you, does that make a small volcano blow up inside of you??? I feel like their is boiling pot of lava in my chest just waiting for the slightest inconvenience to make it explode, all the time.

I cannot, for the life of me, find any good in anything. All I can do is see the negative aspect of everything. I went bouldering with some people I know last night, all I can think is "how can they be so goddamn happy".

I can't keep friends because it's sooo hard, and fake feeling, to be positive. When I talk all that pours out is negative comments about life, myself, etc.

I have been climbing relatively well compared to my past, but whenever I finish a climb all I can think about is the 1 mistake I made on the climb. If I send it "perfectly" all I can think is I should have tried something harder.

I feel like I am just another of a million evolutionary experiments that went wrong.

Hopefully drugs and therapy work, otherwise my wife is stuck with a piece of sh#t that only wants to drag everyone else that comes into contact with me down to my sick little sh#t-filled pit.


say, the good news, is this--that you SEE the things you do not like, in your self...


the next thing, is this:

we are like a house... built on a foundation...

our life is a basic foundation... however, we are BUILT upon, as we grow... the rest of the house CAN be built wrongly, though we may never see how it happens (it is different for each of us, good or bad, however it goes),
it happens a 'piece at a time' and all add up...
that is WHY it is so hard to pinpoint how to fix stuff and WHY it is so hard to even envision a fix, period... :O

one has to do it in little steps, taking off a piece at the time...
can't just pull the whole foundation, out of course, but, one can do a room at a time--and as we move along, the JOY comes, to see new changes that occur... but we MUST decide to rebuild...

so for instance:

getting upset when one cuts in front of one, in line...

at that moment, you get to rebuild, see it as a great opportunity that is uniquely YOURS...

1--YOU CAN say to yourself--oh my, poor guy was not raised with manners, but my place in line, will STILL get me there, and i can do it with INTEGRITY... i can use these few extra minutes, to think about things to cook, or make, etc, once i get home... etc. etc...

2--when you feel negative, say to yourself: hmm, i WONDER what the positive would be???? then, take one step closer to 'new buidling' and speak about it... it MAY feel fake, but--that is because it is NEW grown, and you are not USED TO IT YET... IT WILL COME IN TIME...
you will one day see the little sprout from the seed, pop up, :)

3--if you feel fake, as to responding, well then, respond as you feel, but then, 'fertilize it' and add,something like: you know, i've felt this way for a long time, but i am open to say this, at least: and add the POSITIVE that is showing through an action in this 'event that is taking place' that you are in the middle of...


it grows, skitch, you will see... one board, at a time, etc...
you will see old rooms, change to new rooms and bit of sunlight and joy will seep in... :)


think of this way, you GET to be a builder, a fantastic builder!
and you will not be a 'prisoner of the old buidling'...

prayers and good wishes for you to re build... :)
you have been a climber, so you know it is hard, but one step at a time...


also, if you do something wrong, do not berate your self, ask yourself why, and what you did... and then rebuild here with this fact:

every single one of us do a wrong move...
we all readjust...
we all fix, by making new habits...
none of us are better than another, due to 'making good moves', we just
have been through the wringer enough to make the new mores more often...



*sure, due to brain patterns, etc, some folks are better at some things, than others, but we all have OUR gifts... you will begin to see what yours are...

each day, do one small thing for your wife, too, and do not expect a response or thank you... just do it, to rebuild, :)
you will once day, lose that feeling that she is 'stuck with your attitude, etc'... :)


share your progress, here, is you want to...
folks WILL cheer you on!!!
and why:

because we have all been through the wringer of life, some just rebuilt sooner, due to someone nearby faster, that helped us, is all...


now, you got folks here... :)

BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 18, 2014 - 09:42pm PT
From experience, i can honestly say that smoking pot regularly can cause depression. So can alcohol, so can smoking cigarets, so can eating chocolate.
Doing ANYTHING with a disproval by one's own conscious is depression. But i can't say that. Because science shows depression is a chemical build-up on the neuron..
scrubbing bubbles

Social climber
Uranus
Sep 18, 2014 - 09:55pm PT
I agree, blueblocr

Maybe true clinical depression differs from a generally depressed state of mind, which I agree can arise from constantly recurring unhappy experiences or self-hating types of experiences

Being stuck in a miserable job comes to mind
MisterE

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Sep 18, 2014 - 09:57pm PT
When I have felt down, I have always made a conscious decision to follow my heart's path.

Following one's mind

over one's heart

creates a severe imbalance.

Depression may be a part of this.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Sep 18, 2014 - 11:47pm PT
But really, what should and can I do to help him? Can anybody give me suggestions?

Regular, but not constant, contact is a good thing.

DONT discuss the depression, unless asked to (Oh, great, here comes another thing to remind me of how bad I feel! (he thinks)).

If you have shared significant things, bring him up to date on people you know in common. Send an old picture that he's in with others (reminds him of how important relationships once were).

But don't do this more than once a week, or longer. Enough time between such that he starts to look forward to the contact. Try to have the contacts be upbeat. Think about his sense of humor, and what he would have found funny, an relate stories of things going on your life that he'd find amusing.

The regular contact says MUCH MORE, than you saying anything about caring. The avoidance of advice and nudges gets away from the rather transparent (to him) effort to manipulate him.

I do not agree with the concept of "being your brother's keeper", but rather "being your brother's brother".
Shiho

Trad climber
Salt Lake City
Sep 19, 2014 - 09:49am PT
Thanks for all the advice. It truly breaks my heart to see my friend being depressed when I think that he is an amazing person with so much to offer.
John M

climber
Oct 12, 2014 - 12:29pm PT
Thanks for all the advice. It truly breaks my heart to see my friend being depressed when I think that he is an amazing person with so much to offer.

I have a little more advice.

Something that is hard for me as someone who deals with major depression is how people try fix you, or force you to say something like "life is good". I experience a tremendous amount of depressive and suicidal feelings. I fight with it a lot. Yet I can laugh. And some days I can even feel a certain amount of joy. The really hard days are the days when I can do something I normally enjoy, such as skiing or surfing, and yet feel no joy while doing it. Inside I either feel intense pain, or I feel just flat. Those are the tough days. Other days I can get out and I can enjoy it, though during longer bouts of depression, those days can be few and far between. Thats the thing about depression. It can come in cycles. And people don't seem to understand that. They will see me out enjoying myself. When I am having fun I laugh and smile a lot. So people see me this way, or they make an effort to get me to laugh, and then when I do laugh, they say something like. "see, life isn't so bad". Or they say.. " see, life is good". And they want me to acknowledge this.

What that feels like to me is pressure to ignore what I go through most of the time. It feels like the person does not want to accept that I deal with chronic depression and so they try to minimize it. If a person is a paraplegic and they climb half dome, once they get to the top, people don't say things like. Well, I guess you aren't crippled anymore. Yet with depression, if you laugh or have any amount of fun, then you take a lot of heat from society to say that you are "over" your depression.

Yet for me. Depression is more like being a paraplegic. Its something that one can't always just get over. Not that its exactly like being a paraplegic. Occasionally I can walk. But it is more like being a paraplegic then it is like having a sprained ankle. No matter how hard you have sprained your ankle. ( I'm sorry if this is offensive to anyone. My brain isn't functioning that well right now and its the best simile that I could come up with )


So my advice to those who want to be a friend to someone with major depression is that you allow them to laugh and smile, without trying to force the notion that "now they are okay". Instead, on those days when they are able to enjoy something. Enjoy it with them and just acknowledge that joy. You can say something like.. "that was fun." and allow them the space to be able to say. "yes it was". Or if they laugh at a joke. "that was funny".. and they can acknowledge that without then having to defend themselves.

Its one of the hardest parts of major depression. People look at you and think that you are okay, or at least you should be okay. They don't look at someone with cancer and say.. Why aren't you out doing…. yada yada yada.. Someone with cancer doesn't have to defend themselves. But someone with major depression does. I couldn't begin to tell you the number of people who have sneered at me because I'm not financially successful. If I say that I am having a hard time financially, they they say things like, "just go back to college so that you can get a better job". They don't understand that though I am intelligent, just how impossible college can be for someone with major depression.

So one ends up becoming a hermit. Because it gets tiresome having to defend ones self.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Oct 12, 2014 - 01:19pm PT
John M
Hang in, and hang out, Nature may rejuvenate...
The thread/post, that made me aware of you, would never have led me to foresee this post from you !

FULL MOON + MERCURY RETROGRADE and the passing of life/time as we not being busy being born are surely busy dying. ( Dylan? right?).... Also if I weren't so crazy I would go insane.
(Butchered, Jimmy Buffett sorry Parrot Heads)


The intensity of ones up’s and downs equals the process - work. Bending the wire back and forth
'Working’ the same spot to rupture. An example of this (imHo) this took place on Todd Skinners’ Belay loop with tragic results. The idea that all things are susceptible to work reaches into the metaphysical world as well.
Long ago the need to get away change up every thing was a medically embraced idea
Enter the need for the $$ and big pharma dictating what doctors recommend as well as Huxley’s observations and you can gain some understanding as to the whys and how’s of the depression epidemic

I miss climbing every day… every day that I do not climb ... I regret not climbing
But toes, ankles, knees and fingers start to blow out as time /age marches on.
So rest days, days away from the sustaining life-giving rock becomes a must for me
Apparently not the likes of say…Donini… and others genetics must be at play.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Oct 12, 2014 - 02:22pm PT
If a person is a paraplegic and they climb half dome, once they get to the top, people don't say things like. "Well, I guess you aren't crippled anymore. "



Unless that person is an incomplete paraplegic, and then they can't see the injury or the challenges it still and forever will cause me.

I get comments all the time, "oh you look fine now! I usually reply "I felt better before I broke my back"...

Depression is exactly that. If people can't see a physical ailment or have experienced it themselves, they don't have the tools to process it. They just don't really understand.
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Oct 12, 2014 - 04:56pm PT
sometimes you could use a hand...

sandstone conglomerate

climber
sharon conglomerate central
Oct 12, 2014 - 05:35pm PT
Depression is the black cloud that eclipses your soul. It is the motherf*#ker that tells you you're worthless, that there is no point in getting out of bed, getting dressed, drawing breath. It will eat you alive, and it can do it easily, like a hawk on a mouse. Savage and remorseless, its grip is iron.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Nov 10, 2014 - 05:38am PT
She says she's lost love for me. Maybe it will come back if i get my sh#t together, but i don't really want to be with someone who doesn't love me unconditionally.....
SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, or In What Time Zone Am I?
Nov 10, 2014 - 06:37am PT
^^^^^Mike, that makes me heartsick for you. You know how to hang strong through the tuff stuff. You have lots of ears and shoulders to turn to.
You know how to heal, and that it happens, but it's never as fast as we want.
Thinking of you
Susan
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Nov 10, 2014 - 06:40am PT
Thanks Suse. It means a lot.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Nov 10, 2014 - 06:44am PT
@Mike: <<hug>> :(
pocoloco1

Social climber
The Chihuahua Desert
Nov 10, 2014 - 06:57am PT
Head South....,Hueco is just getting started
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Nov 10, 2014 - 07:00am PT
You know how to heal, and that it happens, but it's never as fast as we want.

I'm so sick of healing. I just wanted to be done. My body is finally coming around and now i have to deal with my heart? Fvck.

Edit: thanks Skip!

Thanks poco.... Got a couple months here before my next sortie unfortunately..
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 10, 2014 - 08:38am PT
Mike, near as I can tell you've got more than a leg up on the competition,
so to speak, you're able to talk about it and that is huge. Hang in there,
or up there. ;-)
Tricouni

Mountain climber
Vancouver
Nov 10, 2014 - 08:55am PT
Mike, if there's any way I can help...
locker

climber
STFU n00b!!!
Nov 10, 2014 - 09:08am PT


Always loved that line from some western, spewed by James Cagney...

He's saying it to a young gunfighter that is cowering and sniveling while lying on the floor...


"You think you're the only one that ever got a raw deal???"...



Everyone get's depressed at some point in their lives (Situational depression)...


Clinical depression is a different beast...

So is Bi Polar Disorder...



There is help for all the above...

No reason to be alone when in HELL...








nita

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
Nov 10, 2014 - 09:16am PT
Hey Big Mike....So sorry to hear this info....Makes me sad to know you are hurting...
Sending much Love...

Everybody hurts, take comfort in your friends.... Hang on...Hold on..

Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I...

Our primary relationship is really with ourselves. Our relationships with other people constantly reflect exactly where we are in the process. . Shakti Gawain



The future's paved~ with better days..
Sending big Love out to those suffering...

post, 234
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Nov 10, 2014 - 09:35am PT
Winston Churchill called it the black dog.

It caused one of the funniest and most successful comedians to hang himself.


A serious illness.


Somebody posted about causing an accident that took a life. That would have surely gotten me depressed, a nightmare I lived with as a climbing guide but fortuitously never experienced.

I can certainly sympathize with somebody that suffers from depression as a result of trauma, especially a spine injury.
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Nov 10, 2014 - 09:39am PT
I agree that chronic weed smoking will take the edge off for an hour but result in a deeper state of depression.

You also mysteriously gain weight. I think it lowers your base metabolism slightly - although those impulse Bugle Corn Snack purchases just might be a factor.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Nov 10, 2014 - 10:09am PT
Magic Pill - Vitamin B1, 100 MG per hr. It metabolizes fast. Up the calcium intake while doing this.

You'll be right as rain and a few hours of this.



Loss of love is tough.

Pain is a warning. It's there for a reason.


It's hard for me to grasp anyone who doesn't love Big Mike.
John M

climber
Nov 10, 2014 - 10:31am PT
Hey Big Mike.. I am so sorry that you are going through this heart ache. I know how painful that can be. I don't know you personally, but I have read your stuff for a few years now and I feel like I know you well enough to say that you have it within you to come through this and shine. You will get over the heartache, and you will be a better person for it. Thats just who you are.

I stared to write about how this love blossomed during a crisis and now Sandra needs space to find out if it is real outside the crisis, but I think that you probably already realize that. So I deleted it. I do hope that you realize that this love that Sandra has given you was a blessing and that what you gave her was also a blessing, though I do fully understand that right now it is painful What I also know though is that you are a tough guy, and so is Sandra. And you have both grown and are better people for having had this experience. So out of this pain you are feeling now, a lot of beauty can come. Give life a chance brother. Sometimes we suffer so that we can climb harder. Love is the same way. Sometimes we suffer in love, so that we can learn to love deeper. Let her go.. breath a bit while your heart heals, and then get back on the horse and see what life has to offer you in the future. With your zest for living, I bet that it has a lot to offer.

And who knows.. a month or two down the road.. maybe you go on a date with this new renewed Sandra, who has had a chance to discover herself again. And ka powie.. the love is back. Yet it will be a greater love because it has the knowledge that it doesn't need a crisis to fire it.

Its an adventure Brother. The adventures that challenge us the most tend to be the ones we cherish the most. As long of course, as if they don't totally break us in two.. wry smile.. haha..

Fire it up big guy.. winter is coming and I know you love that big deep powder. Go live and love life and love will find you. It might even be with Sandra..

I hope that I haven't misread this situation or said too much. I'm getting over an infection and fever.. eek.. Please forgive me if I said anything out of place.

Big John.. ( not as tall as you.. wider.. haha )
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 10, 2014 - 10:34am PT
Sometimes we need to take a step back in order get the perspective to move forward. None of this life stuff is easy, if it is you are probably on vacation. Pain can be an indicator of the need to change something or it can be the instrument of your defeat. It is ok to surrender if at least you tried.

My heart goes out to you and Sandra, Mike. Something tells me you will find a way through this. Masha and I have had those dark days and we are still here. I'm not sure of how or why but we seem to take turns ruffling each others feathers and this actually helps us to fly. To purify gold, you heat it up until the crap comes to the surface and then you scrape it off. A little lighter and a bit more pure.
thebravecowboy

climber
walking, resin-stained, towards the goal
Nov 10, 2014 - 10:43am PT
I am rooting for you Big Mike. this too shall pass and before you know it you will again be neck deep in love, joy, and slammer jams. I feel for you, dude: it seems it will never change sometimes. You know as well as I do though that the only constant is change. Keep your head up man, you never know who or what is 'round the corner.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Nov 10, 2014 - 12:18pm PT
I care. Emotions are strange thing, wonderful and terrible. Very hard to control. Heartbreak + depression + injury sounds like hell.

It will pass, some of it anyway. But that doesn't help a lot right now I suspect.

Just know.. we care.
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Technically...the spawning grounds of Yosemite
Nov 10, 2014 - 07:44pm PT
^^^^^^^^^^ You've got so many fans, Big Mike. ") Let them be there for you, as hard as it may seem to be to open your heart right now.

If I'm out of place saying this, you can smack me upside the head @ Facelift next year. Every single time, without fail in my life so far, that I've said or wondered if only I could change myself this way, or so that I was more what that person really wanted, or wished I was something other than the imperfect (but entertaining at times!) person that I am, I caused myself more pain for not recognizing my worth, just the way I am. Eventually, the light always dawned on me that it was the other person that didn't fit...like an awkwardly made shoe...but not before I had dragged my self esteem through the mud for a good while.

Sometimes the right fit is as much about timing, as anything else. All this to say, I'm so sorry. Please don't get down on yourself - you're an amazingly awesome inspiration to have overcome the obstacles that you've faced, and still have a great, big grin. You're alright just the way you are. ") Hugs.
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Nov 11, 2014 - 02:41am PT
i'm sorry to hear of your struggles, mike.
stay outdoors and take care
while navigating through this thicket.

call if you need a runaway truck ramp.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Nov 11, 2014 - 02:58am PT
hey there say, big mike... wow, i just saw this post...

say, keep to trail, and stop to take a breather, when the roughness of it, hits you unexpectedly... trails led to many things, you know... they also, unexpectedly heal us, and over new hopes, when we least expect, it, as well...

very sorry about you and sandra, though...
but keep other hopes, for your trail, open...


say, audrey, very well said as to this quote:

^^^^^^^^^^ You've got so many fans, Big Mike. ") Let them be there for you, as hard as it may seem to be to open your heart right now.

If I'm out of place saying this, you can smack me upside the head @ Facelift next year. Every single time, without fail in my life so far, that I've said or wondered if only I could change myself this way, or so that I was more what that person really wanted, or wished I was something other than the imperfect (but entertaining at times!) person that I am, I caused myself more pain for not recognizing my worth, just the way I am. Eventually, the light always dawned on me that it was the other person that didn't fit...like an awkwardly made shoe...but not before I had dragged my self esteem through the mud for a good while.

Sometimes the right fit is as much about timing, as anything else. All this to say, I'm so sorry. Please don't get down on yourself - you're an amazingly awesome inspiration to have overcome the obstacles that you've faced, and still have a great, big grin. You're alright just the way you are. ") Hugs.

neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Nov 11, 2014 - 03:14am PT
hey there, say, tobia... say, how you doing as of this week... say, drop me a line, again...

was thinking of you, after reading all this and had not heard from you for awhile...

may your week go well, a step at a time...
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Nov 11, 2014 - 03:18am PT
Mike, what is the latest on your feelings?

When I met Jennie, she was suicidal and she is still on citalopram, an anti-depressant, over the past few years her doctors and best friends said that if I had not entered her life she probably would have been found dead in her flat.

However, while I do not have dark thoughts, I am going through a bit of depression, as it is week now she has been in a nursing home, and the social worker claims Jennie does not want to see me. And her best friend Eileen is not happy with the way this social worker has treated her (Eileen).

This has not happened before at such a stage, but it's Korsakoff's Dementia.

I just want her back home. The cat misses her too.

I am depressed, for the first time in my life. The beach is a minute walk away. I am going there now.

Mike, I have not read any of the latest posts, so I do not know what you are doing, but get out. Walk on the beach or in the woods, climb if you can, bicycle. Whatever. Best wishes, bon chance.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Nov 11, 2014 - 04:29am PT
hey there say, patrick... good morning to you... good to hear from you, but sad to hear about jennie... :(

yes, take a walk at the beach... prayers and good wishes for you and jennie...


i remember once, way back when my life fell apart, that my daddy tried to help me one night when i was 'breaking down with deep crys':

he tried to get me to go out for a walk, and fresh air--in the middle of sobs, it struck me as strange, but i never will forget the love that he tried to share, by just trying to say something... i miss my daddy, :(


thank you, for sharing, here, you made me think of a good memory, in the midst of a sad time, that i once had...


Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Nov 11, 2014 - 04:40am PT
the moon and sun are currently arguing too, mike.
i can tell by the sad hue of her beams.
my knight shadow just don't cast right.
girls everywhere are menstruating off cycle.
and sailors are cursing errant tides.

i look up and the moon is pissed.
she's got a bruise on her right cheek.
dammit son.
i told you not to induce violence.

ahh sh#t the whole universe is in shambles.

it's like one of those blow up dolls though.
you know, the one with the sand ass hence super low
center of gravity;
it'll all upright. sooner probably.
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Nov 11, 2014 - 06:34am PT
Never was a big fan of his…

"Churchill was forced to resign his post, suffered political and public ridicule, and slumped into a depression."

He bounced back.

Depression can happen to anybody.


http://www.ozy.com/flashback/the-fabulously-flawed-winston-churchill/32868
locker

climber
STFU n00b!!!
Nov 11, 2014 - 06:38am PT


"Depression can happen to anybody."...


Most people will at some point in their lives experience some level of "depression"...



Charlie B

Social climber
Santa Rosa, Ca
Nov 11, 2014 - 10:10am PT
Credit: Charlie B

This is a pretty good example of what I've been dealing with lately.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Nov 11, 2014 - 10:16am PT
First of all. Thank you all for your love and support.

Audrey: I don't have fans. I have friends. Just some of them i haven't met yet.


I do hope that you realize that this love that Sandra has given you was a blessing and that what you gave her was also a blessing, though I do fully understand that right now it is painful

Of course i realize this. That's why i am so confused. She never meant to tell me that way, but we were fighting about something stupid and it just came out.

I haven't done anything to deal with my snoring, and she's concerned about my mental health since i've refused any counselling since i got home. My financial paperwork/taxes is a couple years behind which predates my injury. I could be a lot more helpful around the house... I need to work on my core and my fitness again. I've been slacking bigtime.

She has many issues too. I won't go into it here. I thought we were a team working towards a better future together. Accepting each others faults as human and trying to get to a place where we could happily co-exist. I certainly wasn't going to put a ring on her finger until we got there, and i thought we were super close. But apparently she's sick of my sh#t.

What makes matters worse is we are stuck living together until at least May. The rental climate here is next to nil at the moment. Even in squish and pembo. So we are trying to make it work for now, but if she can't accept my faults, and love me anyways.... Do i really want to be with her?

Of course i have options to get away, but home base won't change until spring at least.

Edit: right on charlie b
John M

climber
Nov 11, 2014 - 10:21am PT
^^^^^^^

that is the best cartoon I have seen describing what people with depression have to deal with. Totally made me laugh. Especially the picture with the hand cut off. Can't say how many times I've heard people tell me to just get over it. "its like you're not even trying". hahaha… oh lord. Exactly.

I'm sorry that you are having to deal with this right now Charlie. Depression sucks and I'm always surprised at how many people are dealing with it. Mainly because most people don't talk about it because of what people say to you, as in the cartoon.

Better days brother. better days.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Nov 11, 2014 - 10:34am PT
Life's a bitch but you can't live without it...Happiness is way over- rated in my book...
SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, or In What Time Zone Am I?
Nov 11, 2014 - 10:45am PT
I don't have fans. I have friends.
You'd be surprised! Many of us wear both hats .... nothing like a fan club made up of friends!
Hugs!

Susan
Oplopanax

Mountain climber
The Deep Woods
Nov 11, 2014 - 10:55am PT
I haven't done anything to deal with my snoring, and she's concerned about my mental health since i've refused any counselling since i got home. My financial paperwork/taxes is a couple years behind which predates my injury. I could be a lot more helpful around the house...

So, those all sound like things you can deal with, issues which you have the option to work on.
I'm not going to tell you that you should just deal with them, but I am going to suggest that you should examine what's keeping you from dealing with them, and see if that helps any to illuminate your problem.

John M

climber
Nov 11, 2014 - 10:58am PT
Hey Big Mike.. Thanks for sharing that. It gives a better picture of whats going on. My post yesterday missed the mark as I didn't understand all the ins and outs. Sorry Big guy..It sounds like you have a lot on your plate.

I want to say more, but right now I am having a foggy brain day, and I don't want to make things worse. I do still believe that you can find your way through this. My thoughts go with you today.

JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Nov 11, 2014 - 11:06am PT
Thank you, John M and Charlie B, for expressing what the medical condition of depression is like, and the absurdity of telling people "just pull yourself together and get over it."

Severe depressive disorder involves much more than feeling sad. It involves both an inability to initiate (or, often, even to care about) needed action, and an inability to self-diagnose. In my experience, the only things that really helped were getting me in the hands of professionals, and knowing that I wasn't alone.

Big Mike, you most certainly are not alone, both among climbers and among people. Often, bouts of depression have nothing to do with external matters - although if untreated, they can lead to situations that would make anyone feel great discouragement. I've lived through that, too, and have a standing offer to anyone (of course including you), to contact me if you want someone who can listen because he's "been there, done that."

You are someone whose posts I've admired for years. I know many others on this forum love and admire you - and it's not because we don't know what you know about yourself. It's precisely because they do know you. I applaud the honestly and bravery of your discussion of that topic on this thread, and offer whatever, small, encouragement I can in your struggle.

John
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Nov 11, 2014 - 11:09am PT
So, those all sound like things you can deal with, issues which you have the option to work on.
I'm not going to tell you that you should just deal with them, but I am going to suggest that you should examine what's keeping you from dealing with them, and see if that helps any to illuminate your problem.

It's all stuff i've wanted to deal with dru, but procrastinating is my major weakness. I was just so tired after work, (carrying a 24-32 foot ladder around all day) that i had no physical or mental energy left to deal with any of that, and i wanted to recreate on weekends. I could have done more last winter if i didn't allow myself to slide into the black hole of nothingness for weeks on end.

Stuff that's definitely going to be dealt with this winter for sure. Point is she has issues too. I accept them and that she's working on them. Is it too much to expect the same?
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 11, 2014 - 11:10am PT
Like my Italian grandmother once said, "throw up, you'll feel better".

If we look at all the stuff we think we should be doing, we wouldn't have the time or the ambition to do those things. This where I sometimes find myself and it is not always reassuring that important change only comes when the sh#t is hitting the provrbial fan.

You're not alone,brother.
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Nov 11, 2014 - 11:23am PT
i've bouts of vicious saddness.
where sin is my only hope.



my mother in law, she is probably diagnosably depressed;
though she's trying to move in with us
after a lifetime of poor decisions
(perhaps due to her depression)
her finances are in shambles, her life-quality expectation extremely high; her social compatibility sucks; her drive is dead; her employability, nil.

and i'm pushing her away.

you see i was raised staunch republican
and taught that a firm grip on the waist band
and a giant tug skyward is all that's needed
to get your asse together.

those in need deserve to be in need.
and, though i situationally detest these teachings that i received,
they are core to my emotional makeup,
and my default when stressed.

my poor wife is torn,
and i can forsee perhaps grandma committing suicide
for she is deeply screwed,
and then i will have to answer to my wife,
or rather to her boundless hate towards me
if souls should fly....

and i'll just pickle myself, again and again and again.
and i'll just keep getting up for another beating,
that's what dad taught me.
that's f*#king life.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Nov 11, 2014 - 11:28am PT
Chuck- I am sorry. Your problems are so much tougher than my silly issues. Stuck between a rock and a hard place where i am about to be free and i'm just whining about change.

You know you have a canuck who will take your call at any hour.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Nov 11, 2014 - 11:47am PT
Wayno , barfing isn't the answer. Just ask Phil during one of his CVS bouts ( he had one last week that lasted five days )

Hey Mike if you need a bed to sleep on here in the Big Smoke, give us a call. I know you fit if you sleep diagonally :-D

It's a beautiful Remembrance Day here on the Left Coast. I hope you're able to get out and get some sunshine on yourself.

You're an awesome guy ; so glad to have got to know you !!!

Huge Hugs from Kitsilano. :-)
John M

climber
Nov 11, 2014 - 12:12pm PT
I could have done more last winter if i didn't allow myself to slide into the black hole of nothingness for weeks on end.

Allow yourself? Depression isn't exactly like that. Did you allow yourself to break your back? I'm not trying to be hard on you Big Mike, but this is the kind of stuff a therapist could help you sort through. Its not weakness.

These are simply my beliefs based on my own experience. Some of depression is how we think.. Some of it is an over build up of stress. Some of it is that we live in a world where the build up of karma is such that it is a weight on everyone. i.e.,, pollution as an example. Which makes life hard for everyone exposed to it. Then we have our own karma, which is just a build up of our own decisions.. i.e.,.. eating poorly can lead to poor health. Toss in our family genes on top of that and it can hardly be described is simply "allowing" ourselves to slide downward. That kind of statement smacks too much of the cartoon type statements in the cartoon Charlie posted. You are beating up on yourself. A lot of this is exactly the kinds of things a good therapist can help you deal with. They can teach you to Reorganize your thinking. They can Teach you a new way to see things. Which would lead to what oplopanax was saying… the why of why you are "allowing" yourself to slide. Not that I believe that you are exactly allowing yourself to slide as though you are weak. I have seen too much of you. You aren't weak.. or lazy. Lazy people don't climb. They don't build a business. They don't rebuild their snow mobile and go blasting around the back country.

I don't' say any of this to try and beat up on you. I want you to see that how you think could be affecting your energy level. Our subconscious beliefs are buried beliefs that come out under stress. They are revealed in tiny misuses of words. They show up in our actions when we want to do one thing, but find ourselves doing something else. A good therapist can help you uncover these subconscious beliefs. Its those beliefs that are robbing you. Its not laziness. Or even lack of will. You just can't do the things that you have done and be a lazy person who just allows themselves to slide down. It doesn't work that way. its not a matter of just deciding to be better. That is a tiny part of it. One does need that decision, but that decision to be better is only a tiny part of it. After you decide to be a better person, then you need the tools to actually become a better person. Discovering our subconscious beliefs is a part of that process. It can be very healing. I would be dead by now if I hadn't uncovered some subconscious beliefs that were sabotaging me.

One last thing Big Mike, and I will stop hammering on you. :-)

. Your problems are so much tougher than my silly issues.

I know that you don't' really think your problems are silly.. but can you see that the words we use can reveal how we subconsciously think about things? If subconsciously you believe that your problems are silly, then of course you would not want to work on them, which would lead to the situations that you face now which can feel overwhelming. I understand that it is good sometimes to look beyond ourselves, so that we can get a better perspective. You do have that capacity and that compassion and you show it here. Yet your words can also reveal possible reasons for why you find it difficult to just "not allow yourself to slide down".

Do you see what I am saying? Sometimes I don't' know if I am being clear as I have my own foggy days, and I don't want to put something on you that isn't yours. I care about you Big guy.
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 11, 2014 - 12:15pm PT
Tami, you have told me of those horrible bouts that Phil goes through and you are correct. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. I was thinking more of that hangover thing. I was going through a bad bout with gout this spring and in the middle of all the pain and the self-doubt that memory of my grandmother saying that to my uncle when he was drunk made me laugh and it immediately gave me relief. Humor can be a powerful elixir from the stress of living.

Live. Love. Laugh.
TheSoloClimber

Trad climber
Vancouver
Nov 11, 2014 - 03:51pm PT
I'm not going to get into my sh#t on here.... the people who I want to know about it, know about it.
Mike, you know that I know what you're going through.... I'm here to talk if you want.

All I'm gonna say is, only you and her know what is worth fighting for. If you both care enough to make the effort, then as hard as it might be, it's worth it. It takes work, holy sh#t does it take a lot of work, but when the effort is made, results show. Trust me.
Oplopanax

Mountain climber
The Deep Woods
Nov 11, 2014 - 04:07pm PT
Ho man, I woulda written 3 guidebooks by now if I wasn't a procrastinator.

Just remember when you put something off until tomorrow, tomorrow never comes. If you really want to get something done, give yourself a deadline, and a penalty for missing it.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Nov 11, 2014 - 04:09pm PT
hey there say, johnEleazaian...

wow, as to this quote from you:



Nov 11, 2014 - 11:06am PT
Thank you, John M and Charlie B, for expressing what the medical condition of depression is like, and the absurdity of telling people "just pull yourself together and get over it."

Severe depressive disorder involves much more than feeling sad. It involves both an inability to initiate (or, often, even to care about) needed action, and an inability to self-diagnose. In my experience, the only things that really helped were getting me in the hands of professionals, and knowing that I wasn't alone.

this is what really stood out, for the friends that share with me, as to how far they have come from their depressions (two good friends, share, regularly, with my, a few times a week)....


well, it is this:
"
It involves both an inability to initiate (or, often, even to care about) needed action, and an inability to self-diagnose."

they have found through a therapist (though take care to find one that feels right--some just miss the mark, sadly) ..well, they have found this--the very reason that they are getting through this, and managing things, is due to see and then, learning about 'inability to initiate needed actions, and inability to self-diagnose' INSTEAD, THEY WERE at the mercy of:

not taking action (whether by dialog, discerning if what someone continually said about them was true or not--especially when from parents)...
not taking action to move/step away from the 'line of fire'...
not fixing or adjusting things that were piling up in their life, as to physical daily issues, agendas, etc...
not, etc, etc...

and deepest of all, the not able to 'self-diagnose' (WHICH the therapist was able to GIVE such info, after watching and learning about those in need, that came to the offices) (my friends, in this case)...

and--THIS IS THE PART
that kept them in the spiral, downward... and yes, well,
other friends might have tried to share, or boost moral, or offer all kinds of ways that could be 'life savors' to help, 'til they could swim, but:

the friends (and most likely, folks in general) could not diagnose enough, to even know they were wrapped up in these
situations, many of which came from all the NOTS... the worse not,
being:
without 'initiative' to NOT let ones self-esteem to be MOLDED by what others say, leads you to 'turn into something you are not' IN THE EYES of those, doing the talking...
AND you, can't deny it, and you can't overcome it: you are now--trapped...


their therapist have helped them PINPOINT the whats, whys, and hows, and by who, that these were builts up (the major keys of the their depression triggers) and--not only that, they have also through time and trust, been able to THEN show and teach HOW to self-diagnose, WHAT these gals need to
DO TO STOP being in these positions, and WHY they slip into being depressed... when you can see yourself, in a 'teachers' eyes (so to speak) through trust, you CAN learn... AND BY learning, you have hope
to 'react' in positive ways... ways that TURN the key, to an open
door of freedom and LIGHT and fresh air to be able to THINK again... and--to see results, the results of inner peace and joy, at being YOU...

you can be you, in the midst of any circumstance, and sail your boat, through the dismal seas, or the joyous seas... then... one DOES require more work, for the dismal seas, but 'north star' of knowing WHO you are and what held you down, keeps it all clearly on track for the long haul....

now, last note... one of these gals, only one, DOES have a community club type organization where they know each other and IF she feels she is slipping (and sadly, due to family members, when they get together) there is that extra anchor of FRIENDS AND COUNCIL AND SUPPORT...



so, whewww, i said all that to just support what john said--those in depressions, CAN'T see the garden to be had, as the thorn bushes of ones SELF have to be tackled and cut away with care and sorted out... initiative... and... self-diagnose...


years back, (the gals confessed) if anyone would have tried to help or share help: they would not see or believe that there were any answers at all... the felt THAT hopeless... suicidal and self-hurt wise (one of them) ... and the other (was agressive, attack-mode and get back at folks, to keep them at bay)...


i do see victories and so does do their loved ones... so whatever your various troubles... yes, please, keep sharing, looking, trying and just
please do NOT GIVE UP!!
keys can only be found, by looking for them... and they DO OPEN
doors of hope, and those lead out to freedom...
whether a 'stay on guard' type of freedom... or a solid freedom... whichever... keep your trail, once you step out...
keep your friends!! and keep your councilors!!!



Yury

Mountain climber
T.O.
Nov 11, 2014 - 06:58pm PT
I haven't done anything to deal with my snoring
I can think of at least three relatively easy ways of dealing with snoring.
1. Ear plugs e.g. these plugs
2. Wait a little bit. When my hearing deteriorated I stopped hearing snoring of my wife.
3. Change of a mindset. I do not sleep well in a hotel room after a long break because of a noise of different A/C fans. I just accept it and do not try to do anything. However in a couple of weeks I just do not hear the same noise anymore and it doesn't prevent me from sleeping better.
Approach is relatively simple – just accept it, do not focus on it, relax and wait.
So I believe that a person can learn how to deal with snoring the same way I learned how to deal with A/C noise.

Good luck.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Nov 11, 2014 - 08:43pm PT
Thanks Sooze!!

Thanks Tami! I've been meaning to come hang with u guys. Sounds like a great excuse.


Allow yourself? Depression isn't exactly like that. Did you allow yourself to break your back? I'm not trying to be hard on you Big Mike, but this is the kind of stuff a therapist could help you sort through. Its not weakness.

I hear you John. You are correct. That is defeatist language and i know it. It was really nice to have a counsellor at GF and she made me feel really comfortable and helped me look at things from the other point of view..

I just need to find the right person and i haven't devoted any time to it.


If subconsciously you believe that your problems are silly, then of course you would not want to work on them, which would lead to the situations that you face now which can feel overwhelming.

Yup. My priorities are skewed for sure. These issues definitely are not as important to me as they are to my partner and are easier for me to ignore. Now it's blowing up in my face.

Of course the underlying issue there is my societal view, and what i truly find important. It can be tough to chase the dollar when you don't really believe in it. When in fact you find it and what it truly represents, repugnant.

In that matter John, my heart goes out to you sir. I wish there was more i could do to help you with your plight.

Just remember when you put something off until tomorrow, tomorrow never comes. If you really want to get something done, give yourself a deadline, and a penalty for missing it.

That is very wise advice Dru. Thank you. When I actually put my mind to it, things can get done very quickly. I just need to get over that hump. Thanks for the shove.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Nov 11, 2014 - 08:50pm PT
3. Change of a mindset. I do not sleep well in a hotel room after a long break because of a noise of different A/C fans. I just accept it and do not try to do anything. However in a couple of weeks I just do not hear the same noise anymore and it doesn't prevent me from sleeping better.
Approach is relatively simple – just accept it, do not focus on it, relax and wait.
So I believe that a person can learn how to deal with snoring the same way I learned how to deal with A/C noise.

I agree entirely dude! My ex used to do this with me. Unfortunately it requires a partner capable of adapting their mindset.........
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Nov 11, 2014 - 09:37pm PT
hey there say, all...

oh, i was out in the yard, and just remembered, this, too...

something along the lines, that warbler mentioned, i think??

about problem solving... (i may have to go back and reread)... but, i have worked with children, all my life, and i have found one the best things to do with them, is to not yeild to the too easy poor me things... but, to sit down and talk and work things out, as to the needs and wants, and the what's wrong... what can we do... instead of making all perfect so the kids will just sit down and be quiet and content...

there is a teaching, that goes on, for every situation, with children, and when parents take the time to do this, no matter the inconvenience, well, the children have an easier time of it when things go wrong...

thus, depression can hit, or not, but IF it does for some reason, due to the ones mentioned above, as to the friends of mine... that is one things...

but it it hits, and there has been no 'pre set-up for failure' as to low self esteem or belittlement by others...

well, what i mean, is, if it HITS when all things seem to be going well, but suddenly come to a screetching halt, or 'mud slide' well then:

one is able to diagnose and have a stronger anchor to fight back...

(had to get that one, in , too, as so many folks come from a variety of backgrounds, and some may have had a pretty good self esteem, at least)...

Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Nov 11, 2014 - 10:56pm PT
Just re read much of this thread. Oh God, tears for we humans that fight this thing clothed in mists of greys and black. The black hole that comes out of no where on days we don't suspect and tries with all its might to take us down.

It can be overcome. It can.

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